Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Members Picnic
Sunday, July 15 • 11 a.m. ~ 4 p.m. (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)
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED ON JULY 14 & 15!
Click here to sign up (service hours available for high school students)
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, youth games and races, and raffle drawings, it’s the perfect event for reunions or a summer outing with family and friends! (Non-members are also encouraged to attend the event and apply for membership)
Reasons to attend the picnic:
- Great place for reunions
- Soda and bottled water for $1 each
- Raffle tickets for $1 each
- 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 ~ with live music!
- 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 pre-order only.
- The on-site parking fee is $6 per car, so save money (and gas) by carpooling with family and friends.
- Familiarize yourself with the Okinawa Bon Dances using our online practice videos or attending weekly practices at the OAA Center in Gardena.
This year’s picnic would not be possible without your generous donations! We are soliciting donations, raffle prizes and sponsorships to help offset the many expenses that are incurred for this event including the park and stage rentals, professional audio, and more.
Donors will be recognized at the event and through other means.
Download the sponsorship form (PDF)
From cultural and modern performances to fun games, races, and crafts, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy! Also, don’t miss the only all Okinawan-style Bon dance in Los Angeles!
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).
This year’s GRAND PRIZE:
- (To be announced)
More great prizes include:
- Bicycle ($100+ value) – Donated by members James & Mary Ishiara
- Bicycle ($100+ value) – Donated by members Dennis & Joan Oshiro
- 2 tickets to the Los Angeles Dodgers – Donated by Kamiya Insurance Agency
- 4 guest passes to the Natural History Museum of L.A. County -or- La Brea Tar Pits ($60 value) – Donated by the Natural History Museum of L.A. County
- Valid through 6/3/2019
- 4 weekday tickets to the 2018 Los Angeles County Fair ($56 value) – Donated by Fairplex
- The L.A. County Fair runs from 8/23 – 9/31/2018; tickets only valid for weekday admission (Wednesday – Friday)
- Gift certificates to Tokyo Central/Marukai – Donated by the OAA Geinō-bu Performing Arts Committee
- Tote bags with Okinawan designs – Donated by Joseph Kamiya & Flor Kaneshiro (artist)
- Plus more to be announced!
- Six Flags Magic Mountain – 2 passes to Six Flags (valued at $84.99 each)
- Valid through 12/31/2018
- Shimanchu Basket – Products from Okinawa including many items that are not available to purchase in the United States
- Plus much more!
Bringing a large group to the picnic? For convenience, optional bento lunches are available for $10 (pre-order only).
Download the bento pre-order form (PDF) and submit that with your payment to the OAA office. The postmark deadline for bento pre-orders is July 2, 2018.
Prepared by a local non-profit organization called Healthy Food 4 Kids, each lunchbox includes:
- Chicken karaage
- Ginger pork
Also include one (1) saataa andaagii and one (1) bottled water provided by the OAA!
WHAT IS BON ODORI?
The origin of Bon dancing is a Buddhist ritual to soothe the souls of ancestors during the summer Bon or Obon Festival (called Shichigwachi or Ubun in the Okinawan language). In Okinawa, the ritual is called eisaa and is performed on the third/final day (uukui) as a farewell to the ancestors. Click here to learn more
2018 will mark the eleventh year since Okinawan style Bon dancing was first implemented at the OAA Picnic!
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 uta-sanshin and parankuu (hand drum) musicians!
BON DANCE PRACTICES
Udui (Dance) Practices @ the OAA Center’s Higashi Building:
- Fridays @ 7 PM: June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, July 6
- Sundays @ 4 PM: June 3, 24, July 1, 8
Parankuu (Hand Drum) Practices @ the OAA Center’s Higashi Building:
- Fridays @ 7 PM: June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, July 6
- Sundays @ 2 PM: June 3, 24, July 1, 8
Practice dates subject to change/cancellation if attendance is low. Practice will be done with socks or bare feet (no shoes). OAA will provide accessories such as flags, fans and drums.
Can’t attend the practices? Click here to watch our practice videos