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A Spectacular 25th New Year Celebration

February 25, 2023. It was a full house at APCC’s 25th Annual New Year Celebration!

Record crowds packed the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall for a day filled with lively dance and music, exciting martial arts, interesting vendors, hands-on arts and crafts, delicious food, and all things Asia Pacific. Every year, APCC is so very pleased to be able to offer this free, family-friendly event to usher in the Lunar New Year, and this year did not disappoint. Everyone left with hearts full of joy for all the Asian and Pacific Islander performances and people they saw.

To start off the event, groups representing different countries all proudly dressed in their traditional clothing, marched down the aisle for the National Anthem, blessing, and welcoming. Percussion groups from Tahiti, Guam, Okinawa, Cambodia, Hawaii, Samoa, Thailand, Taiwan, and Mongolia played a rhythmic medley for The Drum of Nations, led by Aime Harrel and Akira Smith. Over 50 elected officials, consul generals, community leaders, and other VIPs helped make the Opening Ceremony very special. Our Keynote Speaker was High Chief Loa Tuimavave Laupola, representing the office of the Governor of American Samoa.

This year’s host nation Samoa had the biggest group with at least 215 performers on stage, including the troupe from UTOPIA Washington, all moving in harmony, lifting their voices up with songs and chants for all to hear. The audience witnessed the ‘Ava Ceremony and other Samoan traditions, watched an energetic Village Dance, and enjoyed a beautiful “We Are Samoa” performance. They ended their presentation with a most exciting fire knife dance that had everyone on their feet and their phones and cameras out to record it.

We wish to thank all our dignitaries for their support and for their inspiring and encouraging words to our community.

Welcome Remarks:

  • Patsy Surh O’Connell, APCC President/Founder

  • Honorable Victoria Woodards, City Tacoma Mayor

  • Honorable Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive

  • Honorable Daniel K.C. Chen, Director General TECO

  • Honorable Eun-Ji Seo, Consulate General of Korea

  • Honorable Hisao Inagaki, Consulate General of Japan

Congratulatory Regards:

  • Honorable Laurie Jinkins, State Speaker of House Reps

  • Honorable Derek Kilmer, Congressman Dist #6

  • Honorable Marilyn Strickland, Congresswoman Dist #10

  • Honorable Maria Cantwell, United States Senator (video)

  • Honorable Patty Murray, United States Senator (video)

  • Honorable Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Port of Tacoma Commissioner Kristin Ang was the emcee for the main stage, guiding the audience through fabulous and colorful performances from:

  • Cambodia- Khmer Language Arts & Culture Academy

  • Mongolia - Zje Mongoli Music Ensemble

  • Indonesia - ICA: Indonesia Cultural Association

  • Philippines - FCA (Filipino Community Alliance)

  • Hawaii - Hula Halau’O Keala’akua Naniloa Mana’oakamai

  • India - Aradhya dance academy

  • Guam - Imahe

  • China - Evergreen Chinese Academy, Tianyuan Tenison Northwest Wushu

  • Academy, and Tina’s Dance Studio

  • Korea - Miyong Margolis Dance Collective

  • Taiwan - Seattle Folk Dance Club and Portland Chinese Yoyo

  • Vietnam - Tuan An Tran Huu

  • Okinawa - Okinawa Kenjin Kai

  • Tahiti - Ke Liko A’e O Lei Lehua E Kapuaokalani

On the Cultural Demonstration Stage, Samuel Dahn coordinated and emceed while different martial arts schools presented:

  • · Samoa - 222 The Way of Warriors

  • · Okinawa - Dahn’s Okami Dojo

  • · Vietnam - Vovinam Martial

  • · Japan - Crain’s Isshin-ryu

  • · Cambodia - Muay Thai/Kun Khmer

  • · Korea - Body and Brain Yoga

  • · China - Northwest Wushu Academy/ Evergreen Chinese Academy

  • · Indonesia/Philippines - Amerindo Self Defense System

  • · Korea - Kwon Martial Arts Academy

  • · Thailand - Muay Thai Srisuk

  • · Brazil - Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

As you walked around, you could visit the different cultural displays, listen to and watch the fantastic performances, eat new food, hear people speaking in different languages, and just feel the warmth and welcoming spirit of all who came together to honor and celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islander people and cultures at this spectacular event.

A big thank you to our Steering Committee, APCC staff, volunteers, community members, sponsors, and all who made this beautiful event possible! You can check out all the pictures and videos of the event on the APCC Facebook page. We wish everyone a very bright and prosperous Year of the Rabbit, and look forward to seeing you all again next year for our 26th Annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration!

Click here or on the images below to see more photos of our celebration.

Click here or on the images below to see more photos of our celebration.

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