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WLAUMC Hosts Asian Cultural Festival

Ondo dancers at WLAUMC’s Asian Cultural Festival in 2016. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Since 1952, West L.A. United Methodist Church has hosted an Asian Cultural Festival, featuring Asian cuisine, entertainment, and cultural presentations. This year’s celebration will be even more memorable as it marks the 88th anniversary of West L.A. UMC’s life as a vibrant community of faith.

The festival includes a silent auction filled with unique art objects, prints and paintings, and traditional tableware. Silent auction organizer Elaine Sunoo describes the auction as “a way of providing an opportunity for persons to purchase beautiful cultural items that they will enjoy for many years to come.”

Nearly 100 items are available for purchase, including restaurant certificates, live performance tickets, holiday décor, linens, dolls, and collectables. This year’s auction promises a variety of items to be valued and treasured.

In addition to the silent auction, attendees can purchase garden plants, fresh produce, baked goods, and like-new items from the Second Chance Store.

Everyone will enjoy live entertainment throughout the day, including taiko drumming, the Little Tokyo Odori Dancers, the WLAUMC Praise Band, the musical stylings of David Mann, and a tai chi demonstration. Once again, members of Centenary United Methodist Church will lead Japanese festival dancing. Children will have fun with games, crafts, and face-painting.

Also featured this year will be the photo archives of historian Randy Sakamoto that illuminate the history of this community of faith and the Sawtelle Japantown neighborhood.

The West L.A. UMC Asian Cultural Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Free parking and shuttle service to and from the festival is available at the Trident Center Office Building on Purdue Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. All proceeds support the outreach and mission work of the church. Most major credit cards are accepted.

For more information, call the church at (310) 479-1379 or visit

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