When last I left you, my party and I had just entered the Green Expo at Trader’s Village in Grand Prairie, and were making our way deeper into this year’s “Tet-in-DFW” festival, which is the annual celebration of Lunar New Year by the local Vietnamese-American community. We had already encountered that classic Vietnamese cultural icon, Ronald MacDonald, and the food pavilions serving all kinds of scrumptious Asian goodies.
Toward the center of the pavilion there was an event going on that I never did figure out. As far as I could tell, it was some sort of auction; however, for all I know it could have been a kind of bingo. In any case, several people stood on a stage, announcing things over a loudspeaker. You can’t really see it in this picture, but the yellow board to the right of the stage had numbers on it:
Whatever was going on, it seemed quite popular. Also quite popular was the stage at the far end of the pavilion. As we were entering, there was loud Vietnamese-style atonal music playing, and two young girls were doing a kind of fan dance.
Honestly, it was kind of mystifying, as no attempt was made to explain in English what was going on.
Like all good festival <>
atmosphere the place has got. We got burger, fries, and drink combos for about four bucks each, and they were tasty. I’ll definitely come back and see more, especially since they’re hosting the Festival Primavera Musica on March 1.
The Tet-in-DFW festival, on the other hand, was smaller than I expected. It fit entirely under the pavilion of the Green Expo, and there was plenty of room to move about. I honestly expected something a bit more complex, and a little less insular. While they welcomed visitors, it was clear that the festivities were mainly for the Vietnamese-Americans attending; anyone else was welcome to get what they could out of it, but no real effort was made to reach out to those of other cultures. The percentage of non-Asians, in fact, was rather low — which is sad, because this was a lovely little festival that I would be happy to check out again next year. The festival is now over for the year, but in 2009, Tet is scheduled for Monday, January 29 — so the celebration will probably be the weekend before. I’ll have it on my 2009 Events Page as soon as the dates are firmed up.
By the way, it’s the Year of the Rat now. The Rat represents cunning, ingenuity, and prosperity, all of which I direly need. Lead on, Rat!
To learn more about Trader’s Village and the various festivities they host throughout the year, visit their website at http://www.tradersvillage.com/en/grandprairie. They’re open from 8 AM to dusk every Saturday and Sunday of the year. It costs $3.00 to park all day long, but it’s free to enter. Whether you can get out of there without spending a fortune is another thing altogether. Good stuff, Maynard!
*Thank you, Tu-Chynh!