From left: Sharon Kinoshita Gill, Tori Ushirogata, Wendy Kobayashi-Lowery and Shirley Fujisaki volunteer at the kalbi beef booth at the Asian Cultural Festival.

Since 1952, West L.A. United Methodist Church has hosted an Asian Cultural Festival, featuring Asian cuisine, entertainment, and cultural presentations. This year’s celebration will be even more memorable as it marks the 89th anniversary of West LA UMC’s life as a vibrant community of faith.

The festival includes a silent auction filled with unique art objects, prints and paintings, and traditional tableware. Silent auction organizers Kay Yang, Elaine Sunoo, and Jane Harada describe the auction as a way of providing an opportunity for persons to purchase beautiful cultural items that they will enjoy for many years to come.

In years past, nearly 100 items have been available for purchase, including restaurant certificates, live performance tickets, holiday décor, linens, dolls, and collectables. This year’s auction promises a variety of items to be valued and treasured.

In addition to the silent auction, attendees can purchase garden plants, fresh produce, baked goods, and new and gently used items from the Second Chance Store.

Come early and enjoy delectable foods, desserts, and live entertainment throughout the day, including taiko drumming from Centenary United Methodist Church, ondo festival dancing led by June Miyamoto-Donovan of the Terminal Islanders and the Long Beach Ondo Odori group, the WLAUMC Praise Band, the Nihongo Sunday Choir of WLAUMC, the musical stylings of David Mann, and a tai chi demonstration. Children will have fun with games, crafts, and face-painting.

On top of all the fun festivities, there will be door prize drawings throughout the day.

Also featured this year will be the photo archives of historian Randy Sakamoto that illuminate the history of this community of faith and the Sawtelle Japantown neighborhood as well as a display of the artwork of talented local artist Nozomi Uchida.

The WLAUMC Asian Cultural Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free; food and other items for purchase.

Free parking and shuttle service to and from the festival is available at the Trident Center office building on Purdue Avenue and Olympic Boulevard.

All proceeds support the outreach and mission work of the church. Most major credit cards are accepted.

For more information, call the church at (310) 479-1379 or visit

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