By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
With a flourish of tradition and a dash of contemporary controversy, the Tet lunar new year holiday comes to the Garden Grove-Stanton-Westminster area this weekend.
The annual Tet Festival will be at Garden Grove Park Friday through Sunday, and the Tet Parade will move along Bolsa Avenue in the Little Saigon section of Westminster.
“The Year of the Snake” will be celebrated at Garden Grove Park with music, entertainment, cultural exhibits, food, carnival rides and more. A crowd upwards of 100,000 is expected for the festival, organized by the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations.
Hours for the festival will be 3-10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. The admission charge is $5 at the gate (cash only).
Events planned for the festival include the Miss Vietnam of SoCal Pageant, lion dancing, martial arts performances, fireworks and fashion shows.
The Tet Parade, set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, should draw a big crowd and has already drawn a growing controversy. A group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Vietnamese say they have been denied a chance to participate in the parade and are protesting.
The group took its objections to the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education meeting Tuesday night (see article), asking that the GGUSD board withdraw a school bus from the event. A protest was also held Monday afternoon outside a meeting of the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California in Westminster.
Sunday’s parade begins on Bolsa Avenue just west of Magnolia Street and heads east through the commercial district of Little Saigon, then turns south at Bushard Street, concluding at Bishop Place.