2012 Hmong National Labor Day Festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin


by Richard Wanglue Vang

Milwaukee, WI — A controversy between the old and the new group to host the third largest Hmong community event in the United States surfaced a couple months before the actual event took place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  

Based on Suab Hmong International Broadcasting Co. (SHIBC) exclusive interview with the representatives of both groups. Bee Lee (new group), the President of the Hmong Service Center Organization in Oshkosh, said that the City of Oshkosh granted the event to Bee Lee and his organization to host and gain financial growth to help his organization. The grant was given to Bee Lee and his organization after the organization who usually hosts the festival {sidebar id=1}were unable to provide a legal tax id number. ZaBlong Vang (old group), the Wisconsin Hmong Community Leader, who said that the process to get the legal tax id for the event took longer than he thought.  He is disappointed in the new group to take such role in the event that his group hosted for more than 20 years.

Despite the controversy between the two organizations, thousands of Hmong from all over the states and other countries participated in the event as usual. 

Click here to watch Suab Hmong News exclusive coveraged 2012 Hmong National Labor Day Festival at Oshkosh, Wisconsin on September 1 and 2, 2012.

The keynote speaker for the event was Col. Toupao Ly from California.  He is a well known public figure by the Hmong community as the second leader from General Vang Pao.  “I and General Vang Pao are good friends since we were young,” said Col. Toupao Ly.  

The main feature attractions to the spectators were the Hmong Dance and Soccer competitions.  The Hmong dance group, “Nkauj Hnub Qub,” won first place in the dance competition followed by “Nkauj Hmoob Hli Ci” and “Tub Ntxhais Pem Suab”.  Rebecca Thao won first place in the singing competition.

More than 100 Hmong vendors sold their products at the event.  Mena Thao, a Hmong Female Singer, released her new album.  “The songs in this new album are about love between couples and so forth…” said Mena Thao during a SHIBC interview.  A newly Hmong movie shot in the United States titled “Ib Zaj Dab Neeg” also sold at the event.  “We are doing very well with the movie,” said Leng Yang, the main actor of the movie.

A Hmong professor from Laos, who is currently pursuing her higher education degree in France, participated in her first Hmong Labor Day Festivity in Oshkosh, WI.  “I have never see this many Hmong in my life… I am very proud and happy to be here…” said Mai Yer Xiong, Hmong professor from Laos.

The over all events were filled with family fun.  If you missed this year’s event, plan to participate next year in 2013.

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