Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 19
Obon Festival may come to an end
The Guadalupe Buddhist Church will celebrate what it expects to be its last Obon Festival from noon to 5 p.m. on July 28 at the Veterans Memorial Building, 313 W. Tunnell St., Santa Maria. The event is the only Japanese festival in Santa Barbara County, but because of the advancing age of the church’s elders and a lack of younger volunteers, organizers expect this to be the last Obon Festival—breaking a Santa Maria tradition that pre-dates World War II.
The Obon is held to honor people who have passed away in the last year. It’s open for the community to participate, eat, and dance. Bon Odori refers to the style of dancing, simply known as Obon.
This year, a children’s fun zone has been added. In the craft section, children can decorate their own fans and towels, traditional props for some of the dances.
Entertainment begins at noon with a bonsai demonstration, taiko drumming, and more. Obon dancing follows at 3 p.m. Food sales include udon, sushi, a chicken dinner, kushiyaki, wontons, and strawberry shortcake. Raffle tickets and chicken teriyaki dinner tickets will be available at the door. Chicken dinners must be picked up by 4 p.m.
The community is invited to practice the Bon Odori dance and participate in the dance the day of the event. Practice is open to all and offers a step-by-step explanation of each dance number. It meets on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building.
For more information about the event, contact Alice Utsunomiya, Obon coordinator, at 937-7026.
Arts Briefs is compiled by Arts Editor Shelly Cone. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.