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Portland Parks & Recreation

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Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Parks & Recreation, Partners, Present Cambodian/Lao/Thai New Year in the Park

(Portland, OR) –

Please join community partners and Portland Parks & Recreation to celebrate Portland’s first-ever Cambodian/Lao/Thai (CLT) New Year in the Park! On Sat., April 25 (10am-6pm), three Southeast Asian cultures come together for a day full of food, music, dance and games. Organizers expect 3,000–6,000 people from diverse cultural backgrounds to attend.  Former Mayor Tom Potter is the keynote speaker at the event, held in Glenhaven Park.

WHAT: First ever Cambodian/Lao/Thai (CLT) New Year in the Park

Organized by a group of passionate community members

WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015.  10am–6pm

WHERE: Glenhaven Park

   NE 82nd Ave. at NE Siskiyou Ave., Portland, OR

WHY: A chance to celebrate with Portland’s Cambodian, Lao and Thai communities, who celebrate New Year each April

WHO: All are invited to this free and vibrant cultural celebration

These three cultural groups celebrate the New Year each April, but Portland’s communities have always held separate celebrations.  Now, the different but equally fascinating languages and cultural perspectives are coming together.

“Many of us came to Oregon as immigrants or refugees, but as we’ve grown roots in Oregon, we’ve decided it’s time for CLT New Year in the Park to share our cultures with everyone,” says Chom Sou, Sponsorship Chair for the CLT New Year in the Park.  “This is an amazing achievement, and it’s very exciting to bring our vibrant cultures together for the first time!”

The list of performers, games and food vendors continues to grow, but includes the offerings listed here:


- Cambodian Dance Troupe of Oregon, Khana Luke Larn Lao, Little Thai Bumblebees School

- Music by Cambodian, Lao and Thai Live Band

- Thai Boxing Show

- Keynote speaker: Tom Potter, former Portland Mayor

- Master of ceremonies: Polo Catalani, program coordinator for the City of Portland’s New Portlander program


- Sepak Takraw, a popular “kick-volleyball” game in Thai and Lao culture

- Inflatable bounce house and slide

- Tug-of-war

- Arts and crafts, including origami


- Paithong (Laotian)

- Mekong Bistro (Cambodian)

- Thai Pasta

- Khun Jo Thai Kitchen

 For updated information, please visit our Facebook page here (or search “CLT New Year in the Park” on Facebook).

 What’s the story behind CLT New Year in the Park?

Saron Khut, the owner of the Cambodian restaurant Mekong Bistro, had the idea to plan a Cambodian New Year celebration at Glenhaven Park, across the street from his restaurant. One day, a few Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) staff came in for lunch, and Saron approached them about the possibility of sponsoring the event. PP&R happily signed on, and the event expanded to include the Lao community with help from Saron’s wife, who is Lao, and the Lao Business Association, and then members of the Thai community. The event promises an amazing story of collaboration and hard work from a group of relatively recently-arrived immigrants and refugees who have grown friendships in their new and shared home state of Oregon.

Get involved!

CLA New Year in the Park is a historic, first-time event for Portland, and organizers expect 3,000–6,000 people from diverse cultural backgrounds to attend.  This is an opportunity to support the community and raise awareness of your company or organization.

To become a sponsor, contact:

Chom Sou, 503-715-6353,

To become a vendor (food or merchandise), contact:

Chia Cha, 503-841-3361,

To volunteer (yes, we need you!), contact:

Chom Sou, 503-715-6353,

Thank you to our sponsors, who are making this event possible:

Portland Parks & Recreation

City of Portland Diverse and Empowered Employees of Portland (DEEP)

Hmong American Community of Oregon

Mekong Bistro


Portland State University, School of Business

Northwest Asian Sports

Foster Wealth Advisor