Cambodia’s 14th annual city parade and cultural festival will return to the streets of Long Beach this weekend after two years of pandemic-induced virtual celebrations.
The celebration, scheduled for Sunday, April 3, will begin with a parade through Cambodia City and end with a festival in MacArthur Park, where there will be live dance performances, Cambodian food vendors and shop stalls. and local businesses.
Long Beach has the largest concentration of Cambodians outside of the Southeast Asian nation itself.
“We have over 2,000 years of cultural heritage,” said Richer San, co-chair of the parade and festival, “and we want to bring some of that to share with our Long Beach community.”
The event will begin at 9 a.m. at Anaheim Street and Cherry Avenue with a meeting of interfaith leaders. Leaders of local Christian, Muslim and Buddhist communities will begin the celebration with a blessing and a few words before the parade heads west at 10 a.m., San said.
The parade, which will include three floats and marchers, will go west on Anaheim Street until they reach Warren Avenue, San said, where MacArthur Park is located. From there, around noon, the festival will begin. San said he expects at least 1,000 people to show up.
At the festival, there will be traditional Cambodian dance performances. A group of Hmong dancers will also perform, he said, and a group of Cambodian Muslims will be there to share history and culture.
“The festival is about sharing our culture with the community,” San said. “We are focused on sharing the rich culture and heritage of the Khmer community.”
There will also be 45 stalls in MacArthur Park selling merchandise, including two Cambodian food vendors, Cambodia Town Food by Sophy and Udom Khmer, San said. After the live dance performances, there will be free dancing and live singing.
“Come see us to see the culture,” San said. “We have so much to offer.”
The festival will end at 6 p.m.