West L.A. UMC Hosts Asian Cultural Festival on Saturday

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Tai chi demonstration at last year’s bazaar.

Since 1952, West L.A. United Methodist Church has hosted an Asian Cultural Bazaar, featuring Asian cuisine, entertainment, and cultural presentations. This year’s celebration will be even more memorable as it marks the 87th anniversary of WLA UMC’s life as a vibrant community of faith.

In recent years, the bazaar has also included a silent auction filled with unique art objects, prints and paintings, and traditional tableware.

Silent auction organizer Elaine Sunoo describes the auction as “a way of providing an opportunity for persons to purchase beautiful cultural items that they will enjoy for many years to come.” In past years, nearly 100 items were available for purchase, including restaurant certificates, live performance tickets, holiday décor, linens, dolls, and collectables. Likewise, this year’s auction promises a variety of similar items to be valued and treasured.

In addition to the silent auction, persons can purchase garden plants, fresh baked goods, and gently used items from the Second Chance Store. Everyone will enjoy live entertainment throughout the day, including taiko drumming, hula, a jazz quartet, and rock music, and a tai chi demonstration.

Above and below: Volunteers at the food and produce booths.

Once again, WLA UMC will welcome members of Centenary United Methodist Church in Little Tokyo, who will lead Japanese festival dancing. Children will have fun with games, crafts, and face painting.

Also featured this year will be a display of lithographs from the church’s own Hisako Terasaki, a renowned and beloved artist, as well as the photo archives of historian Randy Sakamoto illuminating the history of this community of faith and Sawtelle Japantown.

The church is located at 1913 Purdue Ave. in Los Angeles. The bazaar will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Free parking and shuttle service to and from the church will be available at the Trident Center Office Building on Purdue Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. All proceeds support the outreach and mission work of the church. Most major credit cards will be accepted.

For more information, call the church at (310) 479-1379 or visit www.wlaumc.com.

Dancers and drummers at last year’s ondo. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

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