The emcees scheduled to be announcing the participants and personalities along the Nisei Week Grand Parade route this Sunday include a popular local meteorologist, a star of Broadway, an accomplished dancer and singer, and a veteran Rafu Shimpo reporter.
Clockwise from top left: Kimi Evans, Miyuki Matsunaga, Laura Yumi Snell, Mikey Hirano Culross.
Kimi Evans is well known for her weathercasting on ABC7 Eyewitness News. Previously she worked at stations in Hawaii, San Diego and another channel here in L.A. As many know, Evans is also a former Nisei Week Queen, and is returning to the announcing booth for the parade.
Joining the team on the parade route for the first time will be Laura Yumi Snell, an actress, singer, and pianist with deep ties to Little Tokyo. Now living in New York for nearly a decade, she toured the world with the Broadway show “Avenue Q.” She earned a master’s degree in acting from Harvard’s American Repertory Theater and has also studied at the Moscow Art Theatre.
Returning to the announcer’s booth this year will be Miyuki Matsunaga, a native of Fukuoka who began dancing as a teenager. As a member of professional teams, she performed throughout Japan for years before coming to the United States.
In 2005, Matsunaga created her own performing art called Geta Dance, a style that blends elements of Japanese traditional dance, modern dance, and poetry. She recently opened a dance and yoga business, Wave Studio in Torrance.
Also back for another parade will be The Rafu Shimpo’s own Mikey Hirano Culross, an Emmy-nominated singer and songwriter who joined the staff in 1998. A professional musician for more than 20 years, he has composed for a variety of television programs, including “SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Looney Tunes” and Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb.”
This year’s Grand Parade begins at 4 p.m. on Aug. 12, starting on Second Street near Central Avenue and winding its way up San Pedro Street to First Street.
A short musical performance will welcome visitors before the parade, in front of the Miyako Hotel on First Street. Viewers are encouraged to arrive early to stake out the best curbside seating.
For more information on the parade and other festival events, visit www.niseiweek.org.