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Venice Hongwanji to Hold Annual Obon This Weekend

The Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, located at 12371 Braddock Dr. in the Venice-Culver City area (corner of Centinela), will hold its annual Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, from 3 to 9 p.m.

Obon, or “Gathering of Joy,” is a time to express our gratitude to loved ones who have passed on before us. Obon dancing will be held on the street, starting at 7 p.m. both nights.

Besides grilled boneless chicken teriyaki bowls, curry rice, sushi, Spam musubi, Chinese chicken salad (both regular and vegetarian), chili rice, hot dogs, snow cones, drinks and Okinawa dango (with a special strawberry shortcake version), VHBT’s famous wontons will be making a comeback after a one-year hiatus, to the cheers of its many fans.

There will be games and activities for the kids, a fresh flower booth, used book sale, the VHBT marketplace, where you can purchase VHBT T-shirts, tote bags and happis, as well as the ever-popular Lumbini Boutique, filled with fine Asian items (and maybe that hidden treasure).

The silent auction will offer various prizes such as box seats for the Dodgers, a bicycle from Summit Ski & Cycle, a basketball signed by the Clippers, and much more.

The traditional Opportunity Drawing will have a $1,000 grand prize, a $500 second prize, a third prize of a 49” LG Smart TV (courtesy of a donation from Angel Maid Bakery), and many other prizes. In addition, there is a special opportunity to enter to win a three-night stay at The Cal in Las Vegas, a handmade carry-all bag, or more Dodgers tickets.

Come and escape the heat and enjoy the cool breezes in Venice, while dancing to both traditional and new dances, after chowing down on piping-hot wontons.

For more information, call (310) 391-4351 or visit

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