Como Park Obon Festival: Sunday, August 19, 2018

Posted by on Jun 14, 2018 in Events, General | 0 comments

Como Park Obon Festival: Sunday, August 19, 2018

2018 Event Information

3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, 2018
 Como Zoo Park


The Obon Festival, the largest Japan-related festival in Minnesota, takes place in Como Park every August.  Modeled after summer festivals held across Japan, it features stage performances, cultural demonstrations, activities, and, of course, Japanese food.  The event is reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, an important cultural and familal event. During this holiday it is said that ancestral spirits revisit their living families for three days. Many people will return home to pay their respects at grave-sites, and small paper lanterns are often lit and floated down the river in order to guide the ancestors’ spirits. The Obon Festival also features the Bon Odori, or folk dance, in which all are invited to join in the circle and dance.

The Como Park Obon Festival incorporates traditions such as the Bon Odori alongside Minnesotan culture to create new traditions. Every year Mu Performing Arts, featuring the Mu-Min Chorus Mu-Daiko, and Mikaharu-kai Dance Group perform the Minnesota Bon Odori, celebrating Minnesotan culture with a Japanese flair.

The Obon Festival is a collaborative effort between JASM, Como Park, and the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee (SPNSCC), and serves as a chance for JASM to reach out to the community and directly promote cultural exchange.  By creating a fun event for all ages, we hope to share this event with people who fondly remember festivals in Japan, as well as those who wish to experience one for the first time.

Still curious? More information about the Obon tradition here.

A photo of the kingyo sukui (goldfish scooping) booth at last year’s Obon Festival


We are currently recruiting volunteers! Please follow this link for more information!

Ticket Prices

Adult (age 13 and older): $5.00

Child (age 3 to 12): $3.00

Senior (age 65 and over): $3.00

Under the age of 3: Free



All of JASM’s events are made possible thanks to our sponsors, members, and volunteers. If you would like to become involved, find more information on opportunities below:

Membership – Corporate Membership – Sponsorship – Volunteer