2016 / Overview: 76th Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo, Aug. 13–21

Los Angeles Bando Ryu dancers at the 2015 Nisei Week Grand Parade. (Cultural News Photo)

Los Angeles Bando Ryu dancers at the 2015 Nisei Week Grand Parade. (Cultural News Photo)

Winning pieces of the 2015 Tanabata Contest. (Photo by Richard Fukuhara)

Winning pieces of the 2015 Tanabata Contest. (Photo by Richard Fukuhara)

The Nisei Week Foundation announces that the 76th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival will take place from August 13 – 21 at Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles.

The Niei Week Festival showcases free Japanese cultural events, activities and exhibits, including music and entertainment, food and fun games spanning two weekends.

The Nisei Week is one of the nation’s longest running ethnic festivals of its kind.

The 10th annual free Tanabata Festival (August 13-14) will color Little Tokyo’s Central Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA between Temple and First streets with large, assorted streamers (kazari).

Individuals, families, community groups, businesses, churches, temples, and others have contributed there one of a kind displays.

Plenty of entertainment such as Taiko, Geta Tap, martial arts exhibitions, and activities will be available for the entire family at the Plaza Festival at the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday.

Additionally, free cultural exhibits such as bonsai, calligraphy, Ikebana, and more will be on display.

Routed through the streets of Little Tokyo on Sunday, August 14, the Grand Parade will begin at 4 pm. The parade will include Japanese traditional dancers, led by 2016 Nisei Week Choreographer, Madame Hanayagi Rokufukumi, Japanese taiko drums, Haneto dancers preceded by a large Nebuta float made of special Japanese paper.

The second weekend (August 20-21) continues with more free exhibits and cultural events at the JACCC. On August 20, come watch the 10th Annual Day-Lee Foods Gyoza Eating Championship, where world hot dog-eating champions Matt Stonie and Joey Chestnut will attempt to break the record of 384 Gyoza eaten in 10 minutes. The Gyoza championship will be taking place on stage at the JACCC.

To close another year of Nisei Week, Ondo street dancing will be held on August 21 at 4 pm. on Little Tokyo’s First Street. The public is encouraged to join in this Japanese street dancing ritual.

Nisei Week activities will be held in various locations throughout Little Tokyo, including the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center at 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Both weekends feature live entertainment, food and fun for the entire family.

For information about parking and detail, visit the Nisei Week website, www.niseiweek.org  call the Nisei Week office at (213) 687-7183 or email info@niseiweek.org

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