February 9-11, 2024
presented by Union of Vietnamese Student Associations - UVSA
Orange County Fairground
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA
$8 approx., $10 parking, tetfestival.org
SeeCalifornia.com has been covering and attending this festival since it began in Garden Grove in 1982. With strong corporate sponsorship, our founder was hired by Pacific Bell (AT&T) and Southern California Edison to photograph and document company support & participation. These public utilities were some of the largest sponsors to help the event succeed but also enjoyed a presence in sharing information about their products and services.
Since those early days where the attendance was a few thousand people to today where more than 50,000 people attend, the Tet Festival has grown and moved from its grounds in the heart of Little Saigon in Westminster & Garden Grove. In 2013 the festival changed venues, facilitating its growth to become the nation's largest Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival.
The Tet Festival has always been affordable and some years it was even free. Over 200 staff members and over 500 day-of volunteers help this huge event run smoothly as a showcase of Vietnamese culture, food and entertainment. Hundreds of food and merchandise vendors, contests with prizes, musical entertainment on stages and a lavish display of traditional Vietnamese holiday costumes create an avenue for everyone to have a better understanding of Vietnamese culture.
The student organization that produces this mega-celebration, UVSA, has awarded over $1.5 million of festival proceeds through community grants to non-proﬁt organizations across Southern California.
Carnival rides and vendor booths throughout event
Saturday, February 10, 2024, 9:30 a.m. Parade | Opening Ceremony 8:30 a.m.
Route: Parade heads eastbound on Bolsa Avenue from Magnolia Street; right on Bushard Street southbound, ending at Bishop Place
Bolsa Ave. between Magnolia & Bushard
9191 Bolsa Avenue
Westminster, CA 92683
Apply with the City of Westminster to be in the parade no later than January 10, 2024
Our SeeCalifornia.com founder (Debbie Stock) has actually marched in this parade several years, photographing the event from the inside looking out at the crowds. It is a delightful morning event which begins with Firecrackers and feeding the Dragon, an especially meaningful gesture in the Year of the Dragon 2024!
What overwhelms those unfamiliar with the Vietnamese population residing in and around Little Saigon (Westminster & Garden Grove, CA,) is that attendees to the parade are fiercely proud of their heritage, symbols and for some, relocation to the U.S. Many of the middle-age to older residents escaped native lands with their lives, and now embrace the freedoms and quality of life found in Southern California.
While Little Saigon district celebrates Christmas with trees and decorations, the biggest holiday, Tet New Year, brings out cultural and religious traditions unique to this Asian population. Fireworks, festivals, holiday clothing, special fruits & foods, special flowers to buy and gift giving - especially money in red envelopes to the kids, are a few ways they ring in the Tet New Year. Shops and restaurants in Little Saigon often close for a day or more during Tet New Year holiday.
Asian Garden Mall
Tet Festival is held each February in conjunction with the Tet & Chinese New Year. It is the most observed holiday in the Vietnamese community and is usually hosted by the Vietnamese Student Union Association, in conjunction with a Tet Festival Committee.
The Union of the Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern California (UVSA) has been the host of the Tet Festival for over 30 years and, with the spirit and hard work of students and volunteers, help bring the festival to life with a vibrant array of traditional foods, live entertainment, festive games and customs celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.
Garden Grove and Westminster include Korean and other Pacific Rim communities,
as well. The region is a mecca for shopping, with imports of foods, products and
clothing familiar to specific Asian cultures. While the event was held in the
Vietnamese community for decades, it has moved to a new venue for greater ease
of access and parking.
Pageantry blends with centuries of tradition to showcase the finest customs and costumes. Miss Vietnam of Southern California contest is one of the most spectacular events in which talented and beautiful, young Asian women compete for the title through contest categories displaying poise, beauty, grace and talent.
The American-Asian youth culture embraces American lifestyle but also hosts
this cultural event to share, showcase and celebrate the rich history and proud
heritage of the Southern California Asian community. The festival is attended by
all age groups, and all nationalities. Games, contests, vendor booths with
food, unique gifts, and traditional ceremonies all provide fun and entertainment
for an affordable weekend.
The Tet Festival updates are available on tetfestival.org
Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.