Hmong event canceled by Dome roof's collapse

  • Updated: December 27, 2010 - 8:48 PM

The Metrodome roof collapse has led to cancellation of this weekend's Hmong American New Year event -- a celebration that has drawn tens of thousands of people to downtown Minneapolis.

According to an announcement last week on the festival's website, the group sought other options, but "due to unavailable space and limited time, the event cannot simply happen," wrote Hmong American New Year president Tong Pao Yang.

The event had been scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Since 1998, the two-day festival has given Hmong people a chance to gather and celebrate their heritage. Thousands wear traditional costumes.

The Hmong people have observed the New Year in different ways.

In Laos, the Hmong New Year celebration started on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar, which is anywhere from Nov. 25 to Dec. 25. In the United States, the celebration has been modified to fit with holidays here. The New Year now starts with Thanksgiving and ends on New Year's Day.

St. Paul also has hosted Hmong New Year's events. This year, the celebration was held Nov. 26-28 at the RiverCentre downtown.

ANTHONY LONETREE

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