On 28 August 2022, Mr. Tor Saralamba, Consul-General of Thailand in Los Angeles, and Ms. Siriwan Seeharach, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Los Angeles, together with Team Thailand in Los Angeles joined the opening ceremony of the 15th Thai New Year Songkran Festival in Thai Town on Hollywood Blvd.
During the opening ceremony, Consul-General Tor stressed on an important role of the festival in promoting Thailand and Thai culture in all dimensions to foreigners. In this occasion, he also congratulated and expressed his appreciation to the Thai New Year Songkran Festival Organizing Committee and Thai-American community in Los Angeles for joining their hands in making the festival come true. Moreover, Consul-General Tor expressed his gratitude to the US local government and agencies for their cooperation and assistance to facilitate the event in several aspects. He also wished that the festival would be a good beginning for all the guests to learn more about Thailand and plan their future trip to visit the country soon.
After the opening ceremony, Consul-General Tor accompanied ASEAN Consul-Generals and consular members to visit the “Amazing Thailand Amazing Fun Fair” booth organized by Team Thailand in Los Angeles. The booth imitated an atmosphere of fun fair generally found in local temples in Thailand equipped with photo corner and games with give-away prizes sponsored by Thai private companies. The visitors was able to enjoy the game, feel the friendliness of Thai people, and be touched by Thai hospitality.
Thai New Year Songkran Festival was first organized in the year 2004 at Thai Town on Hollywood Blvd. under an initiative and support from the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Los Angeles. It was originally aimed to create a cultural events with harmonized participation and collaboration from several associations of Thai community in Los Angeles in order to effectively promote Thailand and Thainess. The Thai community in Los Angeles later established a Thai New Year Songkran Festival Organizing Committee to be in charge of organizing the festival and keep running for 18 years.
At present, the Thai New Year Songkran Festival has become a huge outdoor cultural event in California, and is one of the biggest Thai Festival outside of Thailand. Every year, Hollywood Blvd. in Thai Town (between Western Ave. and Normandie Ave.) will be closed to traffic for this event to showcase Thai food, Thai traditional performances, Muay Thai, Thai massage, Thai folk games, and Miss Thai – USA beauty pageant. The US local authority has assessed that there was more than 300,000 visitors joined the fair each year. The festival is, thus, an ultimate opportunity for Thai community in Los Angeles to show their unity and strength, as well as for Thailand to promote Thai products and Thainess to the world.