Hmong New Year Celebrations draws large crowds, first festival since pandemic began

WEST SALEM, Wis. (WKBT) – For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the Hmong community gathered to celebrate the New Year.

“It’s an event that we celebrate after the harvest season,” said Tia Vang, the membership coordinator for the Hmong Community Center. “It’s to give thanks for the season.”

Organizers say the crowd on Saturday was much larger than expected, but they’re glad to get together to celebrate.

The festival has live music and dance, along with lots of traditional food that’s hard to find at other times of the year.

Another aspect of the celebration is the vibrant clothing.

“It’s an event that we enjoy every year,” said Vang. “I’ve been collecting my outfits for the past couple of years, not able to wear them. But everybody does want to come out and enjoy it, wear their beautiful outfits.

The New Year celebration is a two-day event, continuing on Sunday at 9 a.m.

Everyone is invited to celebrate.

There’s a $5 entry fee.