On behalf of the 2019 OBON Committee, we send our sincere and deepest appreciation to everyone who helped to make the 2019 OBON a very big success. We all know how much work it is to put an event together, but the success is driven by involvement of the entire board & mostly the Sangha. This year we looked for ways to stream line set up, especially the Yagura and lights. A community member, Jake Thalman from Cornerstone Technologies came to us with a proposal for an upgraded Yagura. Please share your thoughts with Jim Eng or Mark Minaga as we plan for the future.
As I have said in the past, for each chairperson, there are dozens of others who help behind the scenes to complete all that needs to be accomplished, including the following: cleaning the Temple grounds, ordering the Reefer, cleaning and stocking the kitchen (especially after the remodel), dishwashing continually from Friday a.m. until late into Saturday night and setting up and tearing down the booths in the gymnasium to sell prepared food items! Obtaining ALL the various permits (including one to block the bike lane!), ordering barricades, setting it up (and redesigning how cars can park!), chairs and signage, posting notices and advertisements, coordinating and scheduling help for temple tours, prepping for our food sales, dishwashing and cleanup crews, and cooking in the hot weather both inside the kitchen and outside on the patio, purchasing Japanese & OBON odori items to sell in the store, teaching the Sangha members the dances and preparing food for all the dancers for the weeks leading up to the Festival. The list is endless or so it seems.
Reiko Mitsunaga and I were challenged to re-think our food sales and timing of when we sell our food. We determined that we can sell the same number of items, just start later in the day. So we tried opening our food lines from 3:00 p.m. rather than 1:00 p.m. At first blush, the time change is a big hit. It gives us more time to prepare and concentrate our selling/serving time. We will be evaluating how to get the lines moving more efficiently and to plan for the food to last clear until the dancing starts. If you have ideas or thoughts, send them my way: email@example.com.
A special thank you to all the wonderful ladies in the BWA. They have helped for years preparing food items so that when Friday and Saturday rolls around, we just have to roll sushi and stuff inari sushi for packaging. I think spam & kimchi musubi’s are a staple on our menu.
The outdoor Snack-Shack, Lumbini’s Garden, raffle & silent auction and outdoor booths had record attendance. It was nice to have the weather cool down for the taiko performance and dancing. In fact, our Taiko Group has a request to perform at a community event in Utah County this coming spring! So in conclusion, I hope I have not forgotten any group or committee, but I’m sure I have. There is so much that happens without planning, because everyone just steps up and helps without being asked. Again, we thank each and every one of the Temple Sangha for your support- public, behind the scenes, financial and many other ways to support this years OBON Festival.
Karie Minaga-Miya and Reiko Mitsunaga , Co-Chairs 2019