On May 6, Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity is hosting their Lunar New Year with a cultural festival at the Clarke Plaza in Eureka. The festival will take place form 4 – 9 p.m with performances by Lion dancers, Humboldt Taiko, Lao dancers and more. The group’s ‘Monument-al Luncheon and Auction’ will take place on May 7 from Noon – 3 p.m to benefit the Eureka Chinatown Monument at the Bayfront restaurant in Eureka.
What is HAPI?
HAPI is a group of community members who rally together to support Asian focused events. They started in 2019 but were previously known as Taiko Swing Humboldt. HAPI helped organize, plan and host San Jose’s Taiko’s “Swingposium On The Road” in 2020.
“…we connected with so many people who were like ‘Oh I didn’t know that there were other asian people in Humboldt County,’”Alex Ozaki-McNeill, one of HAPI’s founding mothers. “So we expanded from there and became Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in solidarity.”
Another founding mother, Marylyn Paik-Nicely, was the director of the multicultural center at Humboldt State University for almost 20 years. She helps HAPI organize group meetings for upcoming community events.
“It’s kinda where I got my passion, my excitement about organizing or working with different groups. I call meetings, just trying to get people connected,” said Paik-Nicely. “Like with Obon [festival], it’s fun because everyone has some kind of memory with it. Either they group up with or their community did it, like for me it’s something I grew up with.”
Hosting events and fundraisers is what helps the HAPI community grow. It’s a way people around the community make connections and build relationships.
“Usually when we do events like the Chinatown celebration or Obon we have people who are like ‘how do I get involved?’ or ‘How do I come to your events,” said Ozaki-McNeill
For more information on HAPI and upcoming events visit hapihumboldt.org