VJCC’s Annual Summer Festival Goes Virtual

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Streaming event and bento fundraiser to bring community together online June 27.

Dancers at VJCC’s 2014 Summer Festival. (Rafu Shimpo photo)

The Venice Japanese Community Center has adapted its Annual Summer Festival into a virtual event that will stream online at www.VJCC.com on Saturday, June 27, beginning at 5 p.m.

Featuring a combination of Japanese cultural demonstrations, performances and interviews by many of the center’s clubs and classes, the event seeks to connect the community during a time of social distancing. 

A bento fundraiser coordinated in association with Sunny Blue will be held the following day, June 28, with contactless pickup. Menu items and pricing are available at www.VJCC.com and orders must be placed by Friday, June 19. 

“After the VJCC’s Annual Summer Festival was canceled, we wanted to create a way to bring the essential and most-beloved parts of the festival to the community while still ensuring everyone’s health and well-being,” says VJCC President Wesley Shimoda. “We’ve adapted it in a way that still maintains its original sense of community and culture while also being a lot of fun.”

The virtual festival will include new video footage that represents the activities and events traditionally held during the two-day event, ranging from karate and shodo demonstrations to taiko performances and more. VJCC members will also share the ways they have continued to stay engaged with their classes over the past several months while following social distancing guidelines. 

To honor the spirit of the popular food concessions at the annual festival, the VJCC is working with omusubi store Sunny Blue to offer an exclusive bento menu as a fundraiser for the center. Several omusubi options are available, along with Ramune drinks and flavored popcorn.  All orders must be placed by June 19 for contactless pickup on Sunday, June 28, between 4 and 6 p.m.

Each year, the festival draws hundreds of people from throughout Southern California for two days of exhibits and activities as well as carnival games, a wide array of food and ondo dancing. This summer’s event was canceled in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is one of the largest and most popular functions at the community center. 

For further information, email [email protected], call (310) 822-8885 or go to www.vjcc.com, www.facebook.com/venicejapanesecommunitycenter, or www.instagram.com/venicejapanesecommunitycenter.

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