A new group will be taking over the Hmong New Year Celebration after all.
The Big Fresno Fair board of directors has selected Hmong Cultural New Year Celebration, Inc. to organize this year’s Hmong New Year Festival at the fairgrounds in December.
The group outbid the longtime organizer of the event, the Hmong International New Year Foundation, for the second time in two months. The winning bid was $352,000.
Last month, the board awarded the contract for the massive event to Hmong Cultural New Year Celebration with a winning bid of $250,000. But that bid was rejected several weeks later after a protest was filed by the Hmong International New Year Foundation. The foundation has operated the festival at the fairgrounds for nearly 20 years.
Attorney Daniel Jamison, who represents Hmong International New Year Foundation, said in a letter to The Big Fresno Fair that the board failed to follow its procedures for accepting competitive bids. He also alleged the fair did not verify if the Hmong Cultural New Year Celebration has the adequate resources to operate the event.
The annual festival attracts more than 100,000 people during its one-week run. If the Hmong International New Year Foundation stays true to its Facebook post on April 27, it plans to continue organizing a New Year celebration at another location. That venue has, so far, not been identified.