FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE)- Fresno City leaders celebrated the return of Hmong New Year in Fresno on Wednesday, an event that attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year.
The traditional week-long celebration in Fresno will be shortened to a four-day event that starts on Dec. 30 and ends on Jan. 2.
This year’s event will be held at the Fresno Fairgrounds. City leaders say Fresno is home to the largest Hmong community outside of Southeast Asia.
“What people do not know is that this celebration brings people from all over the United States to our community,” said Mayor Jerry Dyer.
In the 1970s, Hmong refugees arrived in Fresno from Laos and Thailand in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. They settled into their new homes in Fresno while trying to preserve their culture and traditions, including celebrating the Hmong New Year.
Mayor Dyer also announced that the city is providing $50,000 to the Hmong Cultural Celebrations – to make up for the cancellation of the event last year due to COVID-19.
“This is a legacy that we will leave behind for every citizen in the city of Fresno here, to join us and celebrate the rich culture of the Hmong Americans here,” said Mitch Her, president of the Hmong Culture New Year Inc.
“You cannot write the history of Fresno without including the Hmong community,” said Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez.