By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune
The downtown area of Garden Grove is known as a location for special events such as the Strawberry Festival in the Village Green park and the Elvis Festival on Main Street.
Now a third major gathering is planned for January: the “Flower Street on Historic Main Street.” Plans call for turning one block of Main, between Acacia Parkway and Garden Grove Boulevard, into a colorful flower extravaganza in keeping with similar events held in Vietnam.
The “Flower Street” will blossom on Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sunday, Jan. 22 in step with the Tet lunar new year, “The Year of the Cat.” Several organizations are partnering to produce the event.
At a press conference on Main Street on Saturday, organizer Johnny Nguyen screened a slide slow showing plans to turn that stretch of the city’s original central business district into a colorful panorama of flora, along with a variety of events including a pet costume contest.
“The flower streets are popular attractions in Vietnam,” he said. “Many people never get the chance to experience it.”
“For the first time ever we want to bring a flower street to California. Borrowing from this unique lunar new year tradition, we will add our own touches.” The theme of this inaugural event is “Spring” and there will be “large flower installations, unique artwork and and a light display.”
He went on to emphasize that he wanted the event to be inclusive and be welcoming to all ethnicities in Garden Grove.
Cherrie Hoa Mai, director of art for the event, remarked that part of the purpose of the event will be to help connect the second generation of Vietnamese-Americans – the children of the refugees who fled Indochina after the Communist conquest in 1975 – with the lives of their parents and ancestors, many of whom lived in rural settings and helped produce food.
“We must honor the farmers,” she said. “Food is life.” She added, “Young people today here have everything,” and scant knowledge of how life was for their parents and grandparents before the grand exodus after the fall of Saigon.
Newly-seated Councilmember Joe VoDinh spoke briefly, praising the project and the diversity of the city.
Categories: Garden Grove