Entertainment & Events

Tet Festival at Balboa Park Celebrates Vietnamese Culture

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With the Lunar New Year fast approaching, San Diego’s Vietnamese American Youth Alliance, VAYA, is organizing their 6th annual Tet Festival at Balboa Park this weekend.  The Tet festival is a Vietnamese cultural celebration where families and friends can ring in the Lunar New Year.  Coming into full swing, the festival expects to draw crowds exceeding a total of 20,000.

Attendees can expect a Tet New Year celebration full of the traditional family-oriented decorating, feasts and prayer.  “Taste of Tet” is this year’s theme—with an emphasis on a variety of Vietnamese cuisine (including Pho, Banh Mi), various types of music, dance, theater entertainment, and a cultural village that provides a glimpse into everyday life in Vietnam.

“This festival brings back those traditions, and it introduces them to kids who have never experienced Tet” explains festival spokesman Kevin Quach to San Diego Union Tribune reporter Nina Garin. “Many kids who grew up in the states don’t have exposure to what village life is like. We’re trying to give them a snapshot of what daily life in Vietnam is like.”

Some exciting events are sure to please every festival-goer. This includes watching competitors vie for the locally famed Mr. and Miss Vietnam San Diego, the newest  “SD Tet’s Got Talent” competition, and a traditional mock wedding ceremony taking place within the cultural village.  There will also be Vietnamese storytelling, an assortment of games, crafts and a special flower arranging demonstration.

The festival takes place this weekend at Balboa Park in San Diego, between President’s Way and Park Boulevard.  It begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, January 28 and lasts through Sunday, January 30.  Tickets are available at the door for $5 for adults and $4 for children.  For more information or to buy discounted tickets, check out their websites at vayasd.org or sdtet.com.

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