What is the Oregon Asian Celebration
What started in 1986 as a gathering in Eugene, Oregon to celebrate the cultural heritage of our small Asian population has evolved over the years to become a major community festival that has showcased Asian and Asian American diversity through dance and music; the fine arts, folk crafts, heritage exhibits, martial arts, cuisine, youth activities, a bustling marketplace, and more.
Between 1986 to 2020, this colorful winter festival brought more than 15,000 people to the Lane Events Center at the fairgrounds for a full weekend of festivities suitable for all ages.
After 35 years as an indoor cultural festival, the COVID pandemic in 2021 moved event planners to re-imagine this long-standing event as an outdoor summer celebration by partnering with another Asian Council-initiated event, the Japanese Obon & Taiko Festival, established also in the mid-1980s as an evening dance festival held under colorful Japanese lanterns. The Obon & Taiko Festival has been organized by the Japanese American Association of Lane County for most of its history and is held annually to honor one’s ancestors and build a sense of community. The partnership of both festivals to become a festival-within-a-festival continues to be celebrated on the last Saturday in July at Alton Baker Park as a free community event where audience participation in the Obon dances is encouraged.
Today, the original mission of the founders of the Oregon Asian Celebration and the Obon & Taiko Festival remains true to this day, of sharing Asian and Asian American cultural heritage to enhance understanding of cultural diversity and to strengthen human connections in our community. Organizers especially aim to create opportunities for young people to get involved and learn to appreciate how differences can enrich one’s community.
Participation comes from hundreds of volunteers of all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities, along with support from public, private, and nonprofit organizations and businesses. The event is produced by the Asian American Council of Oregon and the Japanese American Association of Lane County. The festival is recognized as one of the area’s major events in Lane County, OR.
The Oregon Asian Celebration is produced by the Asian American Council of Oregon, whose founders in 1986, started the festival and developed this mission statement:
Our mission is to create opportunities, which foster friendships and harmonious relations among all people by presenting events and activities that will stimulate a better understanding of Asian and Asian-American cultural heritage. Participation is open to anyone.
Learn about how the Oregon Asian Celebration was born and evolved to become the event we experience today by visiting the Asian Council of Oregon webpage at www.asiancouncil.org
Contact us If you would like to get involved in activities to further our mission, please let us know by inquiring on our Contact Us form.