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Appalshop of Whitesburg hosts first Japanese Bon Odori Festival

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 4:35 PM EDT
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WHITESBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - In honor of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, one Whitesburg woman wanted to share her Japanese heritage with Eastern Kentucky in a fun and engaging way.

Development Director for Appalshop, Kathleen Byrn, coordinated the first Japanese Bon Odori Festival which took place in Whitesburg at the Appalshop Solar Pavilion on Saturday.

This event included a live drumming performance and workshop from the Orlando-based group Matsuriza.

A traditional Japanese dance was also showcased and other activities that honor and celebrate Japanese culture took place at the event.

“I just want to make sure that everybody knows that everyone is welcome here in Eastern Kentucky and in Whitesburg and in Letcher County,” said Byrn. “Just because you may think things are different here, we’re all the same. We all have different life experiences but we can learn from one another.”

Byrn added Appalshop will be hosting more events in the future that will help highlight and introduce other cultures to Eastern Kentucky.

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