45th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage this weekend

– Press release

Manzanar National Historic Site invites the public to participate in a weekend of special activities surrounding the Manzanar Committee’s 45th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Visitors are invited to experience art, music, dance, talks, and more. All events are free.

Manzanar Pilgrimage photo 2012

On Friday, April 25, the Friends of Eastern California Museum will host a public reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Eastern California Museum. Located at 155 Grant Street in Independence, the museum’s exhibits include Shiro and Mary Nomura’s Manzanar collection, a centennial retrospective on the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Norman Clyde exhibit, and the Anna and O.K. Kelly Gallery of Native American Life. Eastern California Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Manzanar National Historic Site Visitor Center is open 9:00 to 5:30 daily. The visitor center offers extensive exhibits and an award-winning film, as well as special Junior Ranger activities for kids. The Selected Artists from the Henry Fukuhara Annual Alabama Hills and Manzanar Workshop art show and sale is on display through mid-July.


From 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, Madelon Arai Yamamoto and volunteer archeologist Mary Farrell will be at the recently restored Arai family fish pond in Block 33 to greet visitors and share stories about the pond’s discovery and excavation. For the first time since 1945, water will flow into the pond.

The Manzanar Committee’s 45th Annual Pilgrimage begins at noon Saturday at the Manzanar Cemetery with the procession of camp banners and a performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko. This year’s Pilgrimage coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, as well as the 10th anniversary of the grand opening of the Manzanar Visitor Center.

Speakers include Dr. Eileen Tamura, a professor at the University of Hawaii Manoa. The Manzanar Committee will honor Dr. Arthur Hansen and Mr. Mas Okui with the 2014 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award in recognition of their decades of work in preserving and sharing Manzanar’s stories.

The Pilgrimage program concludes with the traditional interfaith service and Ondo dancing, after which park rangers will offer walking tours to those wishing to explore Manzanar. More information about the Pilgrimage program is posted on the Manzanar Committee’s website at http://blog.manzanarcommittee.org.

The Manzanar At Dusk program begins at 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Lone Pine High School located at 538 South Main Street (Hwy. 395) in Lone Pine. The program offers participants opportunities for intergenerational discussions and sharing. The program is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions of Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA, and UCSD.

At 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 27, Dr. Eileen Tamura, a professor at the University of Hawaii Manoa, will present talks based on her book In Defense of Justice: Joseph Kurihara and the Japanese American Struggle for Equality in the Manzanar Visitor Center’s west theater. Dr. Tamura will be available to sign her book in the Manzanar History Association bookstore between programs.

With the exception of Friday evening’s reception and Saturday evening’s Manzanar At Dusk program, all events will take place at Manzanar National Historic Site located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, nine miles north of Lone Pine, and approximately 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles. There is no food service at Manzanar. Please bring a lunch or snacks, water, and a chair. Wear a hat and comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

For more information, please call (760) 878-2194 ext. 3310, visit www.nps.gov/manz or check out www.facebook.com/ManzanarNationalHistoricSite.


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