Events Travel

Vietnamese Tet Festival at the Orange County Fairgrounds

The largest Tet Festival in Southern California.

Happy Lunar New Year!  Yesterday, we attended the 2017 Year of the Rooster Tet Festival at the Orange County Fairgrounds, hosted by the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations.  This is a 3-day event from Friday – Sunday and thousands of people attend.

My favorite part of the event was the Cultural Village where they had displays set up to reflect the Vietnamese culture and people could interact with many of it.  It was very crowded!  If you are the claustrophobic type, don’t go.  The food booths were packed and lines were long and slow.  There are music performances on a couple of stages, the Miss Vietnam of Southern California pageant, and numerous contests being held.

We attended on Saturday so we could see someone we know win the pho eating contest.  And he did win!  The rules are that you get one bowl and have to eat it as quickly as possible and if you splatter or drop any soup or noodles on the table, you lose seconds from your time.  Once you are done, you put the bowl on your head.  There were two rounds of contestants and the winning times were around three minutes and 20 seconds for one eaten bowl.

Contestants slurping away at the pho.
Silk fabric on display. 
Embroidered children’s shirts on display beneath colorful lanterns.
This noodle soup cart is common in Vietnam.
This food booth has pho waffles.  I think it’s odd.  Pho is well known as Vietnamese noodle soup and the broth is what makes it special.  How can this be accomplished in a waffle?
This is the food area.  It was so crowded, we ended up eating bratwurst from a food truck in a less busy area.  I know, bratwurst is not Vietnamese, but I would rather go to a real restaurant in Little Saigon to have great food than eat from a food booth, it’s the snobby side of me.
I think they are frying taro and egg.  I don’t really like the taste of taro but it’s popular with Vietnamese and Chinese.


A performance by some local folks.  It made me kind of sleepy, it’s not pop music.

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