Last weekend we were treated to the 66th Annual Japanese Food & Cultural Bazaar held Saturday and Sunday at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento. The church-sponsored bazaar has become one of Sacramento’s signature cultural events.
The Bazaar was a wonderful community event, but there were some obstacles to overcome: it was hot – 100+ degrees over the weekend, it was crowded – an estimated attendance of over 20,000 people, parking was a bear – many folks had to park several blocks away, and, finally, the food lines throughout the Bazaar were quite long.
However, once inside the Bazaar one could sense a peaceful quality, and everyone seemed to be at ease and enjoying themselves. The food, oh the food – fresh sushi, chicken & beef teriyaki, tempura, sesame chicken, korokka, pastries, and snow cones – was scrumptious, and really inexpensive, for between $5 and $7 you could get a full meal.
Cooking all that food was a kind of endurance test, with more than 2 tons of rice, 10 tons of chicken, 2,000 pounds of beef prepared for teriyaki meat sticks and sandwiches, and 500 pounds of noodles expected to be consumed by the bazaar’s conclusion.
There were various traditional Japanese song and dance groups on stage providing entertainment throughout the Bazaar. And, various gifts and crafts were available, including Japanese floral art known as ikebana, calligraphy and handcrafted Japanese dolls.
Proceeds from the event will support the Sacramento Buddhist Church and its affiliated organizations such as youth sports programs, adult and senior groups, and many others.
A big thank you is extended to the hundreds of volunteers who helped out during the event.