Vietnamese festival draws record crowds

TUKWILA
By Savio Pham

A record number of people turned out for the 20th annual Summer Festival hosted by Vietnamese Martyrs Parish of Seattle Aug. 23-25.

Under the protection of umbrellas, Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo and Deacon Philip Mau Duc Nguyen follow a group of archdiocesan and visiting priests
Under the protection of umbrellas, Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo and Deacon Philip Mau Duc Nguyen follow a group of archdiocesan and visiting priests during an Aug. 23 procession in honor of Our Lady of La Vang and the Vietnamese martyrs. Photo: Savio Pham

 

Vietnamese Catholics from other parishes in the archdiocese joined in the celebration, marking the 25th anniversary of the canonization of the Vietnamese martyrs. The event was held on property in Tukwila where Vietnamese Martyrs Parish plans to expand.

Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, presiding at the festival’s opening Mass, praised the Vietnamese community for acquiring the land. “There is much work ahead … and the future is bright for the Vietnamese faithful,” Bishop Elizondo said during his homily.

Before Mass, Bishop Elizondo, with local and visiting priests, joined a procession in honor of Our Lady of La Vang and the Vietnamese martyrs. The procession included a boat-shaped float that carried some relics of the Vietnamese martyrs, a statue of Our Lady of La

Vang and a shield with the Year of Faith symbol. The float was a reminder of the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese who fled their country by boat — many of them dying at sea — after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s.

The festival weekend included a variety of entertainment and Vietnamese food for sale, as a fundraiser for the new church and pastoral activities for Vietnamese Catholics in other parishes.

Father Thanh X. Dao, pastor of Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, estimated some 8,000 people attended the festival over its three days.

The successful event did experience a couple of glitches, however. Electricity to the site was disrupted Saturday evening, halting the entertainment program for nearly three hours, and some attendees who parked in neighboring business lots discovered later that their cars had been towed away.

Wearing traditional dress, Christina Nguyen, left, and Mary Ann Ngo perform the well-known dance “Trong Com” during the summer festival hosted by Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Seattle. Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo incenses a float carrying the statue of Our Lady of La Vang and some relics of the Vietnamese martyrs.
Wearing traditional dress, Christina Nguyen, left, and Mary Ann Ngo perform the well-known dance “Trong Com” during the summer festival hosted by Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Seattle.  Photo: Savio Pham
Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo incenses a float carrying the statue of Our Lady of La Vang and some relics of the Vietnamese martyrs. The float was carried in a procession that opened the three-day summer festival hosted by Seattle’s Vietnamese Martyrs Parish.  Photo: Savio Pham

August 28, 2013