Kicking off the first day of the Hmong Wausau Festival

Festival is expected to bring out thousands of attendees
Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The 5th annual Hmong Wausau Festival is back this weekend. The festival is the largest southeast Asian festival in central Wisconsin.

The Hmong Wausau Festival continues to be the fastest-growing southeast Asian festival in the country.

The event kicked off with a grand parade and opening ceremony. Sports tournaments and food vendors filled the venue at the Marathon County Sports Complex.

“This event here is open to the community. Although we call it the Hmong Wausau festival it’s open to anyone in the community here to join,” said Yee Leng Xiong, the Executive Director of the Hmong American Society.

The festival gives guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Hmong culture.

“One of the things you will see here is the dancing and the cultural dances that would occur,” said Xiong.

Not only does the festival bring in thousands of people, it also brings in millions of dollars to the central Wisconsin economy.

“In 2017, we generated 1.03 million and in 2021 we generated over 3 million dollars in economic impact,” said Xiong.

Mayor Katie Rosenberg of Wausau showed up to the event to give a speech highlighting Hmong history.

“We’re really lucky to have such amazing folks here from Laos, and Thailand and Vietnam and from all over the place. That’s who we are in Wausau,” said Rosenberg.

The next day of Hmong Wausau festivities begins Sunday at 7 am.

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