Traditional Buddhist celebration returns to Santa Maria after pandemic hiatus

We are so happy to share this article in the Santa Maria Times by 

Obon committee chair, Esther Trejo is quoted:

“You know, when you’re running a festival, you tend to get tunnel vision,” Trejo said. “But we had a lot of happy people, we sold out all the food we had and there was a lot of joyful dancing.”The thunder of traditional taiko drumming filled the area with performances by Togen Daiko from the Oxnard Buddhist Temple and Ichi Mi Daiko from the San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple. “Our sister temples really came out and supported us,” Trejo said. Visitors were also thrilled by martial arts demonstrations by Rising Sun Martial Arts in Santa Maria and Central Coast Kenpo Karate in Nipomo. The celebration was something of a “street party,” as the street outside the Cultural Center was closed to allow events outdoors, and Trejo expressed gratitude to the city for allowing and facilitating that.

All photos by Randy De La Peña, Contributor


Namo Amida Butsu

To attend the next Obon Festival

The Obon Festival sponsored by the Guadalupe Buddhist Church is usually held the last Sunday of July, although the date may vary. Workshops are held in advance to teach people the Bon Odori dance so they can join in at the close of the festival. For information as the 2023 festival approaches, visit

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