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Fourth annual Hmong Wausau Festival wraps up

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 4:09 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The second and final day of the fourth annual Hmong Wausau Festival is ending with sports, food and entertainment.

The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19. Event organizers and festival-goers were eager about its return.

Chair of the festival, Yee Leng Xiong, said bringing the festival back took great consideration.

“The planning committee was concerned about spreading COVID as well,” Xiong explained. “But we took the statistics and we took in the COVID-19 vaccine numbers. We weighed those options before we were able to make an official decision.”

Xiong said the committee also considered the rise in anti-Asian hate during the coronavirus pandemic. They decided having the festival would bring cultural awareness to the Wausau community.

“It’s another reminder to the community at large here that the Hmong community also has something to give back to the community as well,” Xiong explained, “because we’re generating tourism money, which is helping our businesses.”

Xiong said he expects the number of attendance to reach close to 12,000 by Sunday night.

Nick Ockwig with the Wausau, Central Wisconsin Convention of Visitor’s Bureau said events like the festival are what the city needs.

“From the visitor’s bureau point of view, events like this are really what we look for to bring to the greater Wausau area,” Ockwig said. “All the hotels are full in the greater Wausau area… down to Stevens Point, up to Merrill, all in central Wisconsin.”

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