Hmong New Year celebrations begin next week, and this year thousands of attendees from across the country can attend events at two different Fresno locations.
This year, a new group will run the events that have annually been held at the Fresno Fairgrounds and the group that formerly was in charge there will hold an additional festival at Granite Park.
Events will run from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 at both locations.
The event at Granite Park will feature a cultural dance competition, the Miss Hmong beauty pageant, a sports tournament and singing competition. More elected officials than ever will be in attendance, said Gerry Vang, vice president of the Hmong International New Year. The group is expecting state treasurer and governor candidate John Chiang to attend, Vang said.
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Opening ceremonies at Granite Park, 4000 Cedar Ave., will begin at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The entrance fee is $4, and children age 6 and under are free, along with senior citizens, military, people using wheelchairs and Fresno County employees. For more information, visit www.hinyf.com.
At the fairgrounds, the Hmong Cultural New Year Celebration will kick off with its opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Organizers have created a program of entertainment and performances, including the popular group from Thailand, Hands Band, and singer from China, Laj Tsawb, according to Dr. Vicki Xiong-Lor, a board member for the group.
The event also will have a new kids zone that includes bounce houses and face painting near the playground area.
Festivities will run to midnight, ending with an appreciation dinner at 6 p.m.
General admission is $5, children under age 5 are free along with senior citizens and military.
For more information, visit www.hmongcultural.org.