Japanese Obon and Taiko Festival

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EUGENE, Ore. — Colorful lanterns, Taiko drumming and Japanese dancing–those are just a few of the things you’ll find at the Japanese Obon and Taiko Festival this weekend at Alton Baker Park.

It’s been a yearly tradition for the past 23 years.

In additions to drumming, there will be glowing lanterns and colorful dressed dancers, as well as Japanese food and crafts.

It’s being put on by the Japanese American Association of Lane County.

Event organizers say Obon is a Buddhist tradition that started more than 500 years ago in Japan as a way to honor their ancestors and celebrate life. It’s been celebrated locally for more than two decades.

“It brings back the memories of Japan, the old tradition. Of course, it’s camaraderie, fellowship with everybody around, meeting people and enjoying the music,” said Mike Takahashi, festival organizer.

A big part of the festival is dancing the traditional Obon dance, which is like folk dancing.

Organizers expect more than 1,000 people to show up.

The festival is from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. It is free and open to the public.

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