Thousands sit around the six soccer fields to catch soccer action during the 31st annual Sports Tournament. (AAP staff photos by Bob San)
AAP staff report
ST. PAUL (July 3, 2010) – Perfect weather conditions made this year’s 31st annual July 4th Hmong Sports Tournament a joy to attend. Held at McMurray Field near Como Park July 2 and 3, the tournament showcased athletic talents of mostly Hmong athletes from Minnesota and all over the country.
The event was sponsored by the Lao Family Community of Minnesota. The absence of General Vang Pao, the Hmong leader who passed away earlier this year, was a reminder the organization he founded established this tournament – and that is has succeeded in its goal to unite a people and keep a culture alive.
Tens of thousands still come from around the country as well as France, Australia and wherever other Hmong have resettles, to join extended families in the heart of the Hmong American community – St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Fourth of July event is also an opportunity to browse the merchant venders of Hmong made textiles and other merchandise. The event is a draw for community services. There are health and social service organizational booths.
There are also many spin off events that are held during the weekend as many artists, musicians and other performers are in town.