Vietnamese New Year Festival Celebrates 10 Years

| February 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Tet Festival Returns to Mira Mesa

Dressed in traditional Vietnamese costumes, the drum team performs at the San Diego Tet Festival in MiraDressed in traditional Vietnamese costumes, the drum team performs at the San Diego Tet Festival in Mira Mesa. Photo courtesy of Sydney Tran.Mesa. Photo courtesy of Sydney Tran.

Dressed in traditional Vietnamese costumes, the drum team performs at the San Diego Tet Festival in MiraDressed in traditional Vietnamese costumes, the drum team performs at the San Diego Tet Festival in Mira Mesa. Photo courtesy of Sydney Tran.Mesa. Photo courtesy of Sydney Tran.

The upcoming annual San Diego Tet Festival will be the Vietnamese-American Youth Alliance’s (VAYA) 10th year operating. To celebrate this milestone, the group is planning a bigger celebration than previous years.

“To be around and going strong after 10 years is a testament to VAYA’s core mission, which is empowering youth to be involved in their communities,” VAYA president Andy Nguyen said. “This has been what VAYA is all about and I’m proud to see it continue to prosper.”

The Tet festival, the Vietnamese New Year celebration, started in 2006 at Qualcomm Stadium and then moved to Balboa Park in 2008. Because of the construction and preparation for the Centennial celebration, the festival then moved to Mira Mesa in 2013. The event is now held at 8575 New Salem Street in Mira Mesa.

“The construction at Balboa Park was a big reason why we moved to Mira Mesa, but because of the outpouring of support from the community, we decided to stay and continue to host the festival here,” Nguyen said.

With the 10th anniversary celebration, the group is doing a bit of reminiscing about not only its history, but also the history of Vietnamese people in United States. Next year is also the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and the start of the Vietnamese diaspora. It is also the 45th anniversary of the Hue Massacre where more than 4,000 civilian victims were killed during the Communist occupation of Hue.

This is the reason why this year’s festival theme is Spring of Nostalgia, Nguyen said.

Some of the new attractions planned for this year include a revamped Cultural Village that will incorporate some of the history of Vietnamese life in America since the fall, the re-launch of the Golden Voice competition and an expanded entertainment program.

The festival, which attracts more than 20,000 people each year, promises fun for whole the family with such activities as carnival rides and games, authentic Vietnamese food, lion dancing and firecrackers.

The upcoming year, being the year of the goat, there will also a goat petting zoo for the kids to enjoy.

Festival Dates and Hours are: Friday, Feb. 20 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

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