Garden Grove's Tet Festival

Dancing, eats, and joyful festivities welcome the Year of the Snake.

MAJOR FESTIVITY: Many California celebrations tend to be the biggest, or nearly the biggest, on the planet; call it a funny factoid or call it something more meaningful. We opt for the latter, mostly because the Golden State is a large, diverse, and celebratory place, a place that has a bit of the whole world to it. So when the annual Tet Festival in Orange County's Little Saigon opens again for another year, and you see the 100,000 attendees, you understand that this is, indeed, the largest Tet celebration outside of Vietnam.

ON THE ROSTER: This year's festivity marks the Year of the Snake. Look for it to feature all of the traditional Tet touches including lion dancing, a talent search contest, firecrackers, a grand concert, and the Miss Vietnam of SoCal Pageant. A Chinese chess competition and a flower-arranging contest are also on the schedule. Oh, and regarding the oh-so-popular, much-photographed lion dances? There are several throughout the long weekend, so just be sure to check times before you go.

NOW, ABOUT EATS... This is always a delicious centerpiece to the party. Green papaya salad, sticky rice, and pho will all be a tasty part. Noodles and rolls aplenty, too. Mmm, and banh mi. Is there a tastier midday meal for a relaxed Saturday? It's a question with one happy answer.

ADMISSION: It's five dollars, but be sure to bring some cash for foodstuffs and such. The dates are Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 10 at Garden Grove Park.

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