NORWALK — Celebrate the 56th annual Cultural Festival and Ondo (dance) on Saturday, July 27, from 3 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 28, from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Southeast Japanese School and Community Center (SEJSCC), 14615 Gridley Rd. (at Excelsior) in Norwalk.

This year for the first time there will be a Cosplay Contest for kids under 18 (advance registration required; everyone wins) and an awesome selfie picture place by Grafiti artist Yasutake. In addition, the raffle will have many special prizes, including several Parkhopper tickets to the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.

The festival has something for everyone — martial arts demonstrations, Hawaiian dancing, ikebana, taiko, and of course the famous weekend bingo. For the bargain shopper, the festival features unique treasures for sale.

For food lovers, there’s a wide array of tasty items — beef and chicken teriyaki, yakisoba, udon, sushi, orange chicken, BBQ pork chops, fried wonton, chili rice, Spam musubi, Okinawan dango, Imagawayaki, and more. You won’t leave hungry.

At the end of each night, everyone is invited to burn off the food by dancing. Doesn’t matter if you know the moves — just look to the center of the circle where the talented dancers are and follow along. This is the highlight of the festival, uniting everyone, visitors and family, in a common activity.

Parking isn’t a problem with a free shuttle from Lampton Elementary School, 14716 Elmcroft Ave. For more information, go to or call (562) 863-5996.

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