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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Encore: Spirit of Japantown Festival 2011

It's hard to believe that one whole year has passed since I participated in the 2010 Spirit of Japantown Festival and posted about it. Anytime I can offer my MC skills as community service is ideal for me because I love to engage audiences so much. This year I again had the pleasure to work with Robert Handa from KTVU Channel 2 as co-masters of cermonies to keep the continuous rotation of presentations and entertainment going on their main stage called The Spirit Stage.

Robert is no stranger to this festival and community. As we prepared for the ceremonies and introduction of distinguished guests I watched him greet so many people at the stage it felt like a family reunion of sorts. I moved quickly to grab this shot of Robert and San Jose Councilperson, The Honorable Sam Liccardo.

Councilperson Sam Liccardo and Robert Handa of KNTV.

One of the favorite traditions at this event is the breaking of the sake barrel and sake tasting by the distinguished guests. Here Robert gets every one's attention as the ceremony draws near.

This year's sponsor and donor list grew larger and a huge banner on the stage thanked all of them for their support.

New to this year's festival as a sponsor was Pacific Gas and Electric Company. This photo shows Roy Hirabaysahi, president of the Japantown Community Congress of San Jose accepting a check from Lisa Lam who heads the InspirAsian Employee Resource Group at P, G and E.

The entertainment was non-stop and kicked off again by the thunderous drum performances of San Jose Taiko.

Four mics were working really hard as the non-stop hip hop group ScoJourners kept the party going.

A few of the really fun "maids" posed playfully for me from the anime group, FanimeCon Maid Café.

Yukie Dong performed solo FanimeCon songs (on stage at right) as the other maids cheered her on.

The Spirited Kids, Japanese Dance (Ondo) drew rave responses and later the audience even joined them on stage.

Finally, the highly energetic aerobic dance group called VivAsia increased everyone's heart rate.

It was another very successful Spirit of Japantown Festival. This year was especially important as the event paid tribute and raised donations for the Japanese Tsunami disaster in March. We had a moment of silence as red Japanese lanterns were passed out to honor the victims.

A moment of silence for all those impacted by the Tsunami disaster.

I was honored to again provide the stage sound and my master of ceremonies services for this great event. The festival was once again coordinated by Rieko Iwanaga and Pam Dunnett of At Your Request event planners. Pam and Rieko sent me a very kind note of thanks for helping them with this year's event which I have posted as a testimonial on my website.

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