Photos: Cambodia Town parade, festival makes in-person return

Cambodian culture took over the streets of Long Beach on Sunday in the long-awaited in-person return of the city’s Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival.

The parade kicked off at around 10 a.m., starting from Cherry Avenue and ending at Warren Street by MacArthur Park in Central Long Beach. More than 1,000 attendees immersed themselves in Cambodia’s rich culture through live music, dance, costumes, shadow puppets, textiles, dressmaking and art exhibits.

The parade and festival marked both Cambodian Heritage Month in Long Beach and the Cambodian New Year 2566, Year of the Tiger.

This year’s theme, “Khmer Angkorian Legacy & Unity, paid homage to the ancient Angkorian civilization and its accomplishments, including the Cambodian religious monument Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was constructed by the Khmer populace under God-King, Jayavarman II, according to Sokthea Phay, one of many organizers for the event.

The 14th annual parade celebrated the largest concentration of Cambodians outside of the country itself. Thousands of Cambodians settled in Long Beach in the 1970s following the genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime. In spite of that adversity, Cambodian culture continues to thrive.

A young man performs a theatrical dance during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Massive crowds gather at Cherry Avenue and Anaheim Street during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Participants leading the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach pay respect to monks on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A young man performs a theatrical dance during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Actors circle around a mock prey during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A couple watches the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Musicians and dancers travel along Anaheim Street during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Participants take over Anaheim Street during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Spectators cheer on the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Participants take over Anaheim Street during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Attendees play with party poppers during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Participants take over Anaheim Street during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Participants display Cambodian costumes during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Driven by Khmer TV, participants celebrate inside the bed of a truck during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A boy reflected on a window watches the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Attendees shoot silly string at each other in MacArthur Park during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A supermodel was invited to play the role of queen, according to a host, during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Spectators cheer on the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Participants smile and wave to spectators during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A woman walks with a sun umbrella during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Parade participants pose for photos at MacArthur Park during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Decorative masks are on display at MacArthur Park during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

A girl dressed in Hmong attire pulls another girl to play at MacArthur Park during the 14th Annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival in Long Beach on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.
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