Across the Area

Two Tet Parades will mark a new year

TET Parades will be held Saturday in Westminster and Sunday in Garden Grove (VAFSC photo).

The political split in Westminster between rival factions had led to a pair of Tet parades this weekend, one in Westminster and one in Garden Grove in this Year of the Rat.

The first will be held Saturday from 8 am. to noon in Westminster along Bolsa Avenue and Magnolia Street ending at Bushard Street. On Sunday, Garden Grove’s version will run from 9 a.m. to noon along Westminster Avenue, between Brookhurst Street and Euclid Avenue. Times are approximate.

Both events are free to view, and attendance is estimated at 50,000 for the Westminster event and 30,000 for the Garden Grove version.

How the twin processions developed hearkens back to the split on the Westminster City Council. The long-time operator of the Westminster version – the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California – lost its bid to conduct the event this year – it’s claimed – because the VAFSC’s leader, Garden Grove City Councilman Phat Bui, is allied against the Westminster council majority of Mayor Tri Ta and council members Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen. Those three are the subject of a recall election scheduled for April 7.

In response, Bui and his organization asked the Garden Grove City Council for permission to launch a rival parade in the City of Youth and Ambition.

Those processions are not the only competing Tet observances to be held this week in Orange County. One Tet Festival is planned for Friday through Sunday at the Orange Coast Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa and the other Friday through Sunday at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.

Tet is the lunar new year celebrated in many Asian nations. It’s considered the pre-eminent holiday in the Vietnamese-American community.

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