By Jacob Wilson/Garden Grove Journal
Four hundred Buddhist monks will brighten up Westminster on May 6.
In honor of the Buddha’s birthday, the group will walk silently, and in single file, down a Bolsa Avenue sidewalk from Magnolia Street to Bushard Avenue.
“This is one of the things that adds a lot of color to that area,” said Frank Fry, councilmember. “I’m all for it.”
After the walk, the group will be bused to Sid Goldstein Freedom Park for a prayer ceremony. The Westminster City Council on Wednesday approved a conditional special event permit for the walk, but Mayor Margie Rice was adamantly against it and voted no.
“This is a very dangerous thing you’re asking in my opinion,” she said. “I’m not in favor of it.”
Aside from her concerns over safety, Rice was also skeptical that only 400 people would show up. But after receiving assurances from city staff and that no more than 400 people would be allowed to participate, the council agreed to a one-time permit.
“I understand the concerns about it, but I’m OK with them trying it out for this one year,” said Tyler Diep, councilmember.
Tam Nguyen Temple III of Indio is organizing and sponsoring the walk. Organizers expect the walk to take two hours. Roads will not be closed for the event, but police will be on hand.
The Westminster Police Department estimates five police officers will be needed to escort the group, said Diana Dobbert, Westminster community services director. Organizers must pay for the officers’ time and any other related costs. They must also provide a certificate of insurance and pay a $2,500 security deposit.