Friday, September 30 2022

STEVENS POINT – After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Hmong Pre-New Year celebration returns to Portage County.

The event will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Portage County Youth Soccer Complex, 701 Badger Ave. at Stevens Point.

This is a new venue for the celebration, which was previously held at Pacawa Lake Park in Plover. Due to recent renovations at the park, it can no longer host the event, organizers said.

Hmong New Year commemorates the harvest of the year and is usually held in November or December, but due to the cold weather in Wisconsin, the Portage County Hmong American Association schedules its event earlier and calls it a celebration.” before the New Year”.

A cultural performance will showcase traditional Hmong dancing and singing during the Hmong Pre-New Year celebration Saturday and Sunday at the Portage County Youth Soccer Complex in Stevens Point.

After a two-year break, the organizers hope to regain ground and return to the heart of the event, centered on rapprochement.

“We are really going back to our New Year’s roots,” said cultural events organizer Chai Moua. “People are really looking forward to getting together and hanging out.”

Both days are filled with men’s and women’s volleyball, as well as men’s soccer. Teams will compete for cash prizes. Registrations are still open at tournament.com. Sports and games are reminiscent of Hmong refugee camps where they were part of daily life, Moua said. They are now a big part of the New Year celebration.

Due to too few entries, the singing and dancing competitions turned into a cultural presentation. Participants will perform cultural songs and dances to the crowd.

Vendors of cultural items will be present during the Hmong Pre-New Year celebration on Saturday and Sunday at the Portage County Youth Soccer Complex in Stevens Point.

Vendors will be present with food, cultural objects and toys. New to the event this year is a beer garden hosted by Central Rivers Farmshed.

About 1,000 people are expected to enjoy sports, music, shopping and food. Moua expects there to be plenty to see, including beautiful Hmong clothing.

“People really come to meet and show off all their traditional clothes,” Moua said. “Everyone shopped in the pandemic, so I expect people to show up in their best outfits.”

One of the most popular events is the Saturday afternoon community luncheon. People buy or bring their lunch and gather to eat together.

The event will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday and end at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for one day and $12 for a two-day pass. Seniors 65 and over and children under 10 are free. There is a small car park as well as plenty of street parking.

For more information, visit the Hmong Pre-New Year Facebook event page.

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Contact USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter Jennifer Poyer at [email protected].

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