2018 OAA Members Picnic

2018 Picnic Flyer SMALL

Artwork by Richard Yamashiro

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)

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PICNIC

Picnic Crowd

Photo by Eric Takushi

REASONS TO ATTEND & TIPS
SPONSORSHIP
ACTIVITIES & SCHEDULE

RAFFLE DRAWING & BASKET RAFFLE PRIZE LIST
BENTO LUNCH (PRE-ORDER ONLY)
BON DANCE & PRACTICE SCHEDULE

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED ON JULY 14 & 15!
Click here to sign up (service hours available for high school students)

WHITTIER NARROWS MAP


ABOUT THE PICNIC

This picnic has been a tradition since the 1930’s, pioneered by early Uchinaanchu (Okinawan) immigrants as a way to build community and to bring elements of the motherland to their new home in Southern California. The event has since become a multigenerational gathering centered around great company and the rich cultural heritage that unites the community.

Featuring live entertainment, youth games and races, raffle drawings, and Bon dancing, it’s the perfect event for reunions or a sunny outing with family and friends. (Non-members are also encouraged to attend the event and apply for membership)

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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 children 12 and younger (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!

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 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.

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PICNIC SPONSORS

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)

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ACTIVITIES

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!

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CONFIRMED PERFORMERS

  • Blaise and Phoenix (uta-sanshin)
  • CHI-KA (singer from Okinawa)
  • Choichi Kai Los Angeles (uta-sanshin)
  • “Dynamic Ryūkyū” Dance Group (contemporary Okinawan dance)
  • Canna Iwasaki (contemporary dancer from Okinawa)
  • Shigeru and William Logan (contemporary music)
  • Ryūkyū Minyō Uezu Yoko Kenkyūsho (uta-sanshin)
  • Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Los Angeles Branch (drum-dancing)
  • Shugyokan Dojo (karate demonstration)
  • Tamagusuku Ryu Kansen Kai (traditional Okinawan dance)
  • Uchinaaguchi Class (“rajio taisō” morning exercises)

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RAFFLE DRAWINGS

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 pre-order form (PDF) and raffle tickets sheet (PDF) and submit them with your payment to the OAA office.

This year’s GRAND PRIZE:

  • Four (4) one-day/one-park passes to Disneyland ($484 value) – Courtesy of the OAA
    • Valid through 12/31/2019

More great prizes include:

  • Tiger PDU-A50U Electric Water Heater/Warmer, 5 Liters ($199.99 value) – 3 winners! Donated by Tiger Corporation
  • Tiger JAX-T10U Advanced Electric Rice Cooker/Warmer, 5.5 Cups ($159.99 value) – 4 winners! Donated by Tiger Corporation
  • Tiger JAX-T10U Advanced Electric Rice Cooker/Warmer, 5.5 Cups ($159.99 value) – 4 winners! Donated by Tiger Corporation
  • Children’s bicycle & helmet (approx. $100 value) – 2 winners! Donated by members James & Mary Ishiara
  • Adult bicycle & helmet (approx. $100+ value) – 2 winners! Donated by members Dennis & Joan Oshiro
  • Two (2) tickets to the L.A. Angels vs. Oakland A’s on August 12, 2018 (Japanese Heritage Day with Ohtani bobblehead giveaway) (approx. $60 value) – Donated by Kamiya Insurance Agency
  • Four (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
  • Four (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)
  • $25 gift certificate to Tokyo Central/Marukai – 10 winners! Donated by the OAA Geinō-bu Performing Arts Committee and OAA Fujin-bu Women’s Club
  • $20 gift certificate to Tokyo Central/Marukai – 10 winners! Donated by the OAA Geinō-bu Performing Arts Committee and OAA Fujin-bu Women’s Club
  • Tote bags with Okinawan designs – Donated by Joseph Kamiya & Flor Kaneshiro (artist)
  • $10 Habuya Okinawan Dining gift certificate + art postcard – 5 winners! Donated by Habuya Okinawan Dining in Tustin, CA
    • Valid through 10/2018
  • Plus more to be announced!

BASKET RAFFLES

  • Six Flags Basket ($169.98 value) – 2 passes to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Donated by Six Flags
    • Valid through 12/31/2018
  • Starbucks Basket (approx. $75 value) – Eco-friendly reusable coffee cups, Komodo Dragon Blend dark coffee grounds, notebook, snacks, tote bag, travel tumbler. Donated by members Mitsuo and Vicky Nishiuchi
  • Okinawa Awamori Basket ($73.98 value) – Donated by Okinawa Blue Ocean Foods
  • Hello Kitty Basket (approx. $50 value) – Donated by members Naomi Endow and Hiro Tome
  • Game Night Package (approx. $50 value) – Classic family games including Jenga, Magic 8 Ball, Pie Face Sky High, Puzzle, Yahtzee. Donated by member Amy Oshiro
  • Movie Night Package (approx. $50 value) – Popcorn maker, popcorn, popcorn seasoning, “Back to the Future” and “Turbo” DVDs, Cracker Jack snacks. Donated by member Amy Oshiro
  • Plus much more!

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BENTO LUNCHES

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 delivery deadline for bento pre-orders is July 10, 2018.

Prepared by a local non-profit organization called Healthy Food 4 Kids, each lunchbox includes:

  • Chicken karaage
  • Ginger pork
  • Broccoli/carrots
  • Rice

Also include one (1) saataa andaagii and one (1) bottled water provided by the OAA!

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OKINAWAN BON DANCE

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!

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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

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