After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Hmong New Year celebration returns to the Fresno Fairgrounds for a four-day run starting Thursday.
When the first Hmong refugees arrived in Fresno from Laos and Thailand in the mid-1970s, their desire to search for other Hmong individuals was strong. By moving to new homes, they sought to preserve their culture and traditions, including the celebration of the New Year.
“We are the biggest Hmong New Year happening in the United States. So, this one is definitely awaited ”, Mai Kerr Thao, treasurer of the board of directors of the Cultural Hmong New Year celebration, Valley Public Radio’s Soreath Hok told.
Miss Hmong USA Contest
Due to COVID-19, there will be fewer booths and more space created to accommodate social distancing, organizers said. Visitors and vendors must wear masks.
Vendors started flocking to the fun fair to set up their stands on Tuesday. The event will include dance competitions and the Miss Hmong USA pageant.
“The Hmong community plays a vital role in our community, and we all look forward to this incredible event,” said Fresno City Council Chairman Luis Chavez, whose Southeast District includes the Fairgrounds.
Watch: Fresno Hmong New Year 2022
COVID-19 vaccines available
Before the pandemic, a week-long Hmong New Year event drew up to 100,000 people from across the United States. This year, it was shortened to four days on the advice of the Fresno County Public Health Department.
Visitors wishing to get a COVID vaccine can get one at the event. The shots are provided thanks to a partnership between The Fresno Center and Kaiser Permanente.
Admission is $ 10, with $ 5 off for seniors and military. There is no charge for children 5 and under. Parking costs $ 10.
Doors open on Thursday at 9 a.m. The event ends Sunday.