Date: Friday, July 13
Time: 3:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Boyle Heights Farmer’s Market at Mariachi Plaza
Contact: Boyle Heights Historical Society, Malissa Strong, Immediate Past-President
Little Tokyo Historical Society, Michael Okamura, President
A joint collaboration between the Boyle Heights Historical Society and Little Tokyo Historical Society, both non-profit community organizations, will invite residents of both neighborhoods to cross the First Street Bridge and visit each other’s historic and vibrant communities, explore the cultures, and form new friendships. Only a bridge away by Metro Gold Line, foot, bicycle, and car. Friday, July 13, 2012, 3:00 – 8:00 pm at the Boyle Heights Farmers’ Market, 1st Street and Boyle Avenue, in Mariachi Plaza.
The purpose of the Tanabata event is to introduce and educate the farmers’ market visitors of the significant Japanese American residential, business, and religious historical presence in Boyle Heights many years ago. A few of these long-time Japanese Americans still remain, including Keiro Retirement Home on Boyle Avenue. Neighborhood residents may be aware of the physical presence of these establishments, but do not know the history.
The Japanese “star festival”, Tanabata, celebrates the meeting of Orihime (the weaving princess) and Hikoboshi (cow herder star). According to legend, the Milky Way separates the two and they are allowed to meet only once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month. This beautiful story is exemplified with festivals observed throughout Japan in July and in Little Tokyo in mid-August.
The event will include fun activities such as Japanese origami paper folding, historical photos exhibits, haiku poetry writing, Tanabata Kazari decoration making, and Tanabata wishes tanzaku notes. Lively entertainment will include children’s storytelling of the Tanabata star festival, DJ music, spirited Japanese ondo folk dancing, a Japanese Mariachi, and thunderous taiko drumming.