Okinawa Association Ringing in 110th Anniversary

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Ring in the Year of the Boar with Okinawan spirit. The Okinawa Association of America (OAA) will host its annual New Year’s Party on Sunday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Held at the Quiet Cannon banquet hall in Montebello Golf Course, this is one of the OAA’s largest annual events with over 500 attendees. The party will also kick off the organization’s 110th year.

The OAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and promoting Okinawan culture. Formed by first-generation Okinawan immigrants (Issei) over a century ago, the OAA has since grown into a multi-generational organization that hosts numerous events throughout the year, including cultural lectures, performances, social gatherings, and senior-focused activities.

The annual New Year’s Party or Shinnenenkai entertainment features a classical Ryukyuan ensemble performance, traditional folk music and dance, a karate demonstration by Shugyokan Dojo, and crowd favorites Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko. This year’s special guests include Halau Hula Moaniʻaʻala Anuhea (traditional Hawaiian dance) and Afuso Ryu Kenkyu Choichi Kai (Okinawan music).

The OAA will hold a NYP raffle drawing with great prizes such as one $500 travel voucher donated by Uyehara Travel, two $250 travel vouchers donated by IACE Travel USA, four Disneyland tickets donated by the Walt Disney Company ($400+ value), gift cards, and more. Other prizes are available through the silent auction: two Disneyland tickets, four tickets to the PGA Genesis Open donated by William Martin, Okinawan products including awamori, appliances donated by Tiger Corporation, and more.

The event will also include a photo slideshow highlighting 2018, a sake barrel breaking ceremony (kagami-biraki), and a toast to Year of the Boar celebrants. There will also be a presentation of the first-ever OAA Legacy Award to Joe Yamagawa, an active OAA member and leader since the 1930s. The event will conclude with community dancing and singing.

For more information, to make a reservation, or to sign up as a volunteer, contact the OAA office (weekdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.): [email protected], (310) 532-1929.

Quiet Cannon is located at 901 Via San Clemente, Montebello (second-floor banquet hall). Parking is free of charge. Reservation is required by Jan. 11 and seating will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis (additional $10/person after deadline, if space allows). Discounts available for children and middle/high school students.

Each ticket includes event admission, entrée of choice, garden salad, ice cream, and souvenir. $50 with prime rib entrée, $45 with vegetarian pasta entrée. To encourage more families to attend, there is a student discount for $35 (ages 11-18; copy of student I.D. required with reservation form) and a children’s meal for $25 (ages 3-10).

For updates about the OAA’s 110th anniversary events, visit oaamensore.org or facebook.com/oaamensore. Special activities will include a concert by the renowned Okinawan band Begin (ビギン).

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