A new statue of Hmong leader and hero Gen. Vang Pao was unveiled Friday at the Fresno Fairgrounds during the annual Hmong International New Year celebration.
The statue, created by Fresno's Monster City Studios, stands 6 feet tall (in a sitting position) and weighs more than 1,000 pounds. It is made from cast concrete, and was created from a photograph taken of the general during the Vietnam War period.
The statue replaces a smaller one that was dedicated during the 2011 celebration. Gen. Vang Pao, who commanded a CIA-trained force to fight communists in southeast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s and was the much-beloved leader of many Hmong Americans, died in January of that year. Gen. Vang Pao regularly spoke in front of large crowds at the fairgrounds event.
In a release, Monster City president Richard Deaver said, "We were honored that the Hmong leadership chose Monster City Studios to perform the work on this important project for such a beloved and courageous hero."
If you go
HMONG INTERNATIONAL NEW YEAR
When: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Jan. 1
Where: Fresno Fairgrounds
Cost: $4 general admission; seniors, veterans and children younger than 4 are free.
Information: (559) 487-1012
HMONG NEW YEAR
When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Jan. 1
Where: Calwa Park, Chestnut Avenue between Maple and Cedar avenues.
Cost: Free admission and parking
Information: (559) 251-0008