St. Paul, MN — During the weekend of July 4th each year, Minnesota Hmong Community holds a big event known as Hmong Freedom Celebration and Annual Sports Festival. The event drew about more than 20,000 spectators each day from all over the states and other countries. In 2012 there was a second event held in Minnesota by Lao Family Social Services, Inc., to honor the legacy of General Vang Pao who passed away on January 6, 2011.
The two events held at the same weekend time frame.
Lao Prince Sauriyvong Savang from France opened and cut the ribbon ceremony at the 1st Annual Summer Sports Tournament & Festival (Lao Family Social Services’ event) on June 29, 2012.
Song Vang, General Vang Pao’s wife, opened and cut the ribbon ceremony at the Hmong Freedom Celebration and 32nd Annual Sport Festival (Lao Family Community’s event) on July 1st, 2012.
Lao Family Social Services’ event held at Dakota Fairground, Farmington, Minnesota and Lao Family Community’s event held at the same location at Como Park, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Both events held similar sport competitions and Miss Hmong Teen’s competition. There were 10 Miss Hmong Teens participated and competed for the Miss Hmong Teen’s title at the Hmong Freedom Celebration 32nd Annual Sports Festival and 13 Miss Hmong teens participated and competed at the 1st Annual Summer Sports Tournament & Festival.
By compared spectators attending the Hmong Freedom Celebration 32nd Annual Sports Festival this year to prior years, there were less spectators this year and this seems to hurt some businesses at the event.
“I think about 30 percent of Minnesota Hmong community members decided not to attend either event due to the controversial of having two events in Minnesota this year” said one of the spectators that wanted to stay anonymous.
“Business this year is a lot slower than prior years…because the two events… ” said of the food vendor who wanted to stay anonymous.
Suab Hmong News’ special coverage team covered both events. We will have our special coverage broadcast soon. Visit our website www.shrdo.com for the latest updated on our broadcast scheduled.