The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Tanabata Festival (the Star Festival) will be held from August 13 – 16 at the open space of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) on First Street and Central Avenue in Little Tokyo to coincide with the Nisei Week Japanese Festival.
Last year’s event involved 240 colorful Tanabata Kazari (paper ornament streamer) that were made by over 3000 community members, young and old.
Truly, this was the largest participation project in the Japanese and Japanese American community in Los Angeles ever. This year, the Los Angeles Tanabata Festival will have 10 prize winning Kazari from Japan, donated by the Shiromatsu Monaka Co. of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture.
During the Little Tokyo Children’s Day event held this past May 15 and 16, the Narumi Paper Company from Sendai conducted workshops constructing one large Kazari. Over 300 adults and children helped make flowers for this community Kazari. It will stand close to 20 feet high and feature a Geisha on the hanging washi (Japanese) paper.
The Tanabata festivals celebrate the once-a-year meeting of star lovers, the Cow Herder and the Weaver Princess, who are separated by the Milky Way during the other 364 days of the year.