The numbers are in: More than 40,000 people came together last weekend to celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Orange County Tet Festival.
Sponsored by Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, the annual event held at Mile Square Park is the most widely observed holiday within the Vietnamese community.
“Tet is a time for spiritual rejuvenation,” said Andrew Do, who serves as Vice Chairman on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “Based on the overwhelming success of this year’s Tet Festival, we can expect great things in the year ahead.”
During the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, families come together and pay tribute to their ancestors, while celebrating the arrival of the new year. Vice Chairman Do represents Orange County’s First District, which is home to the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam.
The weekend-long authentic celebration at Mile Square Park featured tasty snacks, talented entertainers, cultural performances, carnival rides, and a spectacular firecracker display. Various neighborhood leaders, elected officials, and census representatives were also in attendance.
“The cultural, spiritual, and traditional importance of this celebration is vital to many of our communities throughout Orange County,” said Vice Chairman Do. “By celebrating together, we can bring our diverse communities closer through positive shared experiences.”
Disney’s Mickey Mouse Makes Special Appearance at the Tet Parade
In conjunction with the OC Tet Festival, more than 25,000 people gathered early Saturday morning on Bolsa Avenue in Westminster to watch the annual Tet parade.
The parade, organized by the Little Saigon Westminster Tet Parade Committee, hosted a total of 66 entries. Among those included several local high school marching bands and color guards, Vietnamese dance groups and pageants, and a lion dance performance.
This year was also the first time Disneyland partnered with the parade committee. Mickey Mouse was the Children’s Grand Marshall and Vice Chairman Do was selected to be the Grand Marshall of the parade.
“Each Lunar New Year is associated with one of twelve Zodiac animals, which are commonly associated with certain personality traits,” said Vice Chairman Do. “This year is the year of the rat, so it was only appropriate to have Mickey Mouse in the parade.”
The Vietnamese-American Community is integral to the social, economic, and cultural tapestry of Orange County. After 45 years, the Vietnamese community has integrated into the American life, a tribute to the great nation that America is.
Check out the full event video of the parade and festival here (17 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im1rfueu85E&t=1s
Check out the highlight video of the parade and festival here (1 minute):