Obon Festival at Guadalupe Buddhist Church This Sunday

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SANTA MARIA — Guadalupe Buddhist Church’s 2017 Obon Festival will be held on Sunday, July 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Veterans’ Memorial Community Center, 313 W. Tunnell St. in Santa Maria.

The Obon Festival an annual Buddhist event held to commemorate one’s ancestors. It is believed that each year during Obon, the ancestors’ spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives.

This festival is open to everyone of all ages and will feature bonsai, martial arts demonstrations, and taiko drumming, with the highlight being the Obon dancing, which all are welcome to participate in.

Traditional Japanese food as well as some local favorites such as udon, sushi, kushiyaki, won ton, and strawberry shortcake will be available. Barbecue chicken teriyaki dinners are available for pre-sale.

A free interactive arts and crafts area for the kids will everything from origami to face-painting, along with handmade items for purchase.

Raffle tickets are $5 each. First prize is $1,500, and all of the top 10 prizes are cash.

In the days leading up to the festival, the church works with volunteers from the community to help put the event together. You can help by cooking, making sushi, making signs and so much more. It’s a great way to give back, make new friends and learn more about the Santa Maria Japanese community and the church.

The church has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the festival.

Free admission and parking. For more information, call (805) 343-1053 or visit www.guadalupebuddhistchurch.org.

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