2017 OAA Members Picnic, Scholarship Awards, Okinawan Bon Dance

Artwork by Teak Oliver

Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Members Picnic
Sunday, July 16 • 11AM ~ 4PM (opens @ 10) • Whittier Narrows Park

750 Santa Anita Avenue, Area E-1, South El Monte • On-site parking fee: $6

(Non-members are also encouraged to attend the event and apply for membership)

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PICNIC:
REASONS TO ATTEND & TIPS
SPONSORS
ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES
RAFFLE PRIZES
BENTO LUNCHES
BON DANCING
YOUTH ART CONTEST

Volunteers needed on July 15th and 16th. Click here to see the volunteer schedule and contact us to sign up: 310-532-1929, oaamensore@gmail.com

WHITTIER NARROWS MAP


ABOUT THE PICNIC

The picnic has been a tradition for OAA members since the 1930′s, bringing together hundreds of local Okinawans and Okinawans-at-heart. Over the years, the OAA expanded this event with the addition of its high school scholarship awards and the only Okinawan style Bon dance in Los Angeles. Featuring live entertainment, games/races, a youth art contest, and raffle drawings, it’s the perfect event for reunions or a Sunday outing with family and friends! (Non-members are also encouraged to attend the event and apply for membership)

Photo by Eric Takushi

Reasons to attend the picnic:

  • Great place for reunions
  • Soda and bottled water for $1 each
  • Raffle tickets for $1 each ~ Grand Prize: 4 passes to Disneyland!
  • Free snow cones (while supplies last)
  • Free hot dogs for kids under 10 (while supplies last)
  • Games and races for all ages ~ prizes for all!
  • Performances from local talent
  • The only all-Okinawan Bon dance in Los Angeles featuring live music

Picnic tips:

  • Arrive early so you can pick the best place to sit and enjoy the afternoon! Reserve a bench or bring blankets, lawn chairs, etc. (Note: If you are planning to bring a pop-up tent, please be courteous and do not obstruct the view of other families)
  • Make sure to stay hydrated and visit our First Aid Station if you start to feel light-headed or ill.
  • For senior members and members with disabilities, there will be a golf cart service to transport them from the parking lot to the picnic site.
  • Bringing a large group to the picnic? For convenience, optional bento lunches are available for $10 each (pre-order only).
  • The on-site parking fee is $6 per car, so save money by carpooling with family and friends.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Okinawa Bon dances using our online practice videos! There are also weekly practices at the OAA Center in Gardena.

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PICNIC SPONSORS

This year’s picnic would not be possible without the generous donations of our sponsors!  Sponsorship helps us to offset our expenses including the mobile stage rental.

Would you like to be a sponsor?
Download the sponsorship form (PDF/92KB)

$500 – Red Sponsors
the color of the Prefecture flower and flag
Oki Dog (Los Angeles)

$250 – Green Sponsors
the color of the rich landscape and vegetation of the islands
Miyashiro Enterprises, Inc. (Torrance)

$100 – Blue Sponsors
the color of the seas surrounding the islands that provides the abundant sealife

Brenda Yoko Higa
Pelican Signs (Manhattan Beach)
Mrs. Haruo Yamashiro

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ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES

Members of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Los Angeles Branch (photo by Ben Higa)

Tentative Schedule:
(Subject to change without notice)

10AM – Gate opens

11AM – 12PM

12 – 1PM

1 – 2PM

  • Children’s games
    Red light, green light (ages 5 – 10), hot potato (ages 3 – 10), balloon pop (ages 10 – 17 and adults)
  • Ishihara Minyō
    Sanshin group (Okinawan folk music)
  • Shugyokan Dojo (head instructor: Prince Loeffler)
    Okinawan karate demonstration
  • Miyagi Ryu Nosho Kai Miyagi Nosho Ryubu Dojo
    Traditional Okinawan dance
  • Awards: OAA youth art contest winners

2 – 3PM

3 – 4PM

4PM

  • BASKET RAFFLE PRIZE announcement
  • GRAND RAFFLE PRIZE announcement
    4 One-Day Park Hopper Passes to DISNEYLAND and CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE! ($628 value) – Donated by the Walt Disney Company

Family Activities:

  • Photo booth
  • Bingata craft corner

Photo by Eric Takushi

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RAFFLE PRIZES

Raffle tickets are only $1 each! All funds raised from raffle tickets will go toward our yearly activities as well as much needed maintenance and repairs for our organization’s buildings.

Attendance is not required for the raffle drawings (winners will be informed by phone or email after the picnic).

Please download the order form (PDF/1.3MB) and raffle tickets sheet (PDF/421KB) and submit them with your payment to the OAA office.

2017 Picnic Raffle Prizes WHT BKG

Note:  The Disneyland, Dodgers, and L.A. County Fair tickets will be available through the general raffle drawing. The Six Flags Magic Mountain tickets will be included in a special “basket raffle” drawing (tickets available to purchase only at the picnic).

This year’s GRAND PRIZE:

  • 4 One-Day Park Hopper Passes to DISNEYLAND and CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE! ($628 value) – Donated by the Walt Disney Company

More great prizes include:

  • 1 Ohana tenor ukulele ($180 value) – Donated by OAA member Steven Awakuni
  • 1 Ohana concert ukulele ($120 value) – Donated by OAA member Steven Awakuni
  • 1 Ohana concert ukulele ($120 value) – Donated by OAA member Steven Awakuni
  • 1 Go For Broke Family Prize Pack ($160 value) – Donated by the Go For Broke National Education Center
    • Includes 2 family passes to their Defining Courage Exhibition (valid until 12/31/2017), 2 documentary DVDs, Nisei Veterans’ Cookbook, commemorative coin, and 50-piece puzzle
  • 1 children’s bicycle ($100+ value) – Donated by OAA members James and Mary Ishiara
  • 1 children’s bicycle ($100+ value) – Donated by OAA members James and Mary Ishiara
  • 1 one-year family/dual membership to the Japanese American National Museum ($75 value) – Donated by the Japanese American National Museum
  • 2 tickets to the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants ($64 value) – Donated by Kamiya Insurance Agency
    • Only valid on 7/29/2017, 1:00 PM, at Dodgers Stadium
  • 4 weekday tickets to the 2017 Los Angeles County Fair ($56 value) – Donated by Fairplex
    • The L.A. County Fair runs from 9/1 – 9/24/2017; the Fair will be closed on Mondays (with the exception of Labor Day) and Tuesdays
  • Gift certificates to Marukai – Donated by OAA member Joe Yamagawa and the OAA Fujinbu Women’s Association
  • 2 Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language) original music CDs by Brandon Ing – Donated by the OAA Bunkabu Culture Committee
  • Plus gift cards, kitchen appliances, and more!

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BENTO LUNCHES

BENTO PRE-ORDERS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Bringing a large group to the picnic? For convenience, optional bento lunches are available for $10 (pre-order only). Each lunchbox includes:

  • BBQ chicken
  • Shoyu-miso pork
  • Rice
  • One (1) free drink

Download the bento pre-order form (PDF/1.3MB) and submit that with your payment to the OAA office. The postmark deadline for bento pre-orders is July 7th.

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OKINAWAN BON DANCING

2017 will mark the tenth year of Okinawan style Bon dancing at the OAA Picnic! The origin of Bon dancing is a Buddhist ritual to soothe the souls of ancestors during the summer Bon (or Obon) Festival.

Regardless of age or experience, everybody is invited to participate! The movements are repetitive and everybody dances in a large circle, with experienced dancers leading in the center. Live music is provided by sanshin and parankuu (hand drum) musicians.

Get a head-start and practice the dances at home! Click here to watch our practice videos.

Okinawa Bon Odori Practice Videos

Dance Practice Schedule @ the OAA Center’s Higashi Building:

  • Friday nights (June 16th, 23rd, and 30th, July 7th and 14th)
  • Starting at 7:30 PM
  • Practices may be cancelled due to low turnout (please call the OAA office to confirm the practice schedule)

Parankuu (Hand Drum) Practice Schedule @ the OAA Center’s Higashi Building:

  • Sunday afternoons at 2:30 PM (July 2 & 9)
  • Tuesday nights at 7:45 PM (July 4 & 11)
  • Practices may be cancelled due to low turnout (please call the OAA office to confirm the practice schedule)

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YOUTH ART CONTEST

  • THEME: Wan Uchinaa Yaaninju (My Okinawan Family)
  • DEADLINE: Postmarked or delivered to the OAA office by July 7 or brought to the picnic on July 16
  • ELIGIBILITY:
    • Ages 17 and younger
    • Parents must be current OAA members
    • Original artwork only
    • Artwork size no larger than 18” x 20”
    • Artwork can be done with crayons, pastels, watercolor, or Tempera paint
  • PRIZES: One gift card in each age category

Last year’s art contest winners (photo by Eric Takushi)

Tell us about your Okinawan family! For example: Does your family participate in any cultural traditions? What part of Okinawa did your ancestors come from? Is your family multicultural?

Learn more about Okinawa and Okinawan immigrants at the OAA Library (open weekdays, 10AM – 4PM).

Download the application form (PDF/1.1MB)

1st place winners in each age category will be awarded at the OAA Picnic, 7/16, Whittier Narrows Park! All submissions will be displayed at the park that afternoon and then at the OAA Center in Gardena.

NOTE: Submissions can be picked up at the OAA Center in Gardena from July 31st ~ December 22nd. OAA reserves the right to use all submitted artwork in future products and/or promotional materials.

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 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The OAA’s events are run entirely by our dedicated volunteers. Commit to the whole day or only one hour — every little bit really helps!

Please contact the OAA if you would like to sign-up to volunteer for any of the following shifts: 310-532-1929, oaamensore@gmail.com

Picnic 2014

Volunteers barbecuing at the picnic (photo by Eric Takushi)

SATURDAY, JULY 15
9:00 AM @ OAA CENTER IN GARDENA
(Morning snacks/coffee provided)

  • Truck loading
  • Bento lunch preparation

SUNDAY, JULY 16
7AM ~ 10AM @ WHITTIER NARROWS
(Morning snacks/coffee provided)

  • Truck unloading
  • Build tents
  • Tables/chairs set-up
  • Prepare bento lunches
  • Barbecue
  • Signage
  • Stage/audio set-up

SUNDAY, JULY 16
11AM ~ 4PM @ WHITTIER NARROWS

  • Assistance with stage crew
  • Assistance with children’s games and races
  • Photography

SUNDAY, JULY 16
5:30 PM @ OAA CENTER IN GARDENA

  • Truck unloading
  • General clean-up

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