The Storm Lake Tai Dam and Southeast Asian communities are inviting Storm Lake to a celebration of their traditional New Year on Saturday, March 5, starting at 5 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Xuyen Lovan, representing the Tai Dam Traditional New Year Committee, said the event promises both educational and entertainment benefits.
"We will have a grand dinner, traditional dances, games and then dancing to the varied music of the New Moon Band, coming from Des Moines," she said while publicly inviting the entire community during yesterday's city council meeting.
There will also be a series of "Community Conversations" featuring interviews and audience questions with Asian Americans. "We think these conversations will help everybody in Storm Lake, including our own children, come to a new understanding of our unique stories," Lovan said.
Three special guests have also been invited to the New Year celebration. They are former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray, former Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, and former director of the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services Colleen Shearer.
"We hope that you all will make plans to join us for some or all of our events," Lovan said. "We Tai Dam and other Southeast Asian people are proud and long-time citizens of Storm Lake, 'The World's Hometown.' And again, we are proud to call Storm Lake home."
Support for the event has come from Storm Lake businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, the Storm Lake Arts Council, Humanities Iowa and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Lovan said.