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Hmong New Year celebration cancelled for first time

from Wikimedia Creative Commons by John Pavelka

Organizers mourned the cancellation of a week-long event celebrating the Hmong New Year this week rather than partake in the festivities.

The annual festival in the Central California city of Fresno is considered the largest Hmong American celebration in the country with people from around the country coming to Fresno to take part. However, like so many other gatherings, the coronavirus forced its cancellation.

“We just take selfies and post them and say Happy Hmong New Year,” Fresno Center CEO Pao Yang sadly said to ABC30.

According to Your Central Valley, the seven day event attracts about 100,000 people each year to the Fresno Fairgrounds.

 “It’s just so so unreal that it’s not happening this year and the first time in our history in the United States, said Yang who understands the severity of the coronavirus. “The numbers that we follow up with is just staggering — it’s just heartbreaking to see the numbers of infection from just the Hmong community.”

Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Chair Chong Yang says normally people would arrive from other countries for this event.

“We have people that come from Laos, Thailand and even Vietnam who have waited for this time of year just to see their families and friends,” he said.

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