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55th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage Ceremony

April 27 @ 12:00 pm


Manzanar National Historic Site invites visitors to participate in a weekend of special events in conjunction with the Manzanar Committee’s 55th Annual Pilgrimage. All are welcome and the events are free.

Pilgrimage weekend begins Friday, April 26, with a public reception with light refreshments hosted by the Friends of Eastern California Museum from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Eastern California Museum is located at 155 Grant Street in Independence. The museum is open daily, except Wednesdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Manzanar National Historic Site Visitor Center is open Friday to Monday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed Tuesday to Thursday). On Saturday, April 27 only, the center will extend hours to 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It features extensive exhibits and audio-visual programs. A special art show, Portraits of the People of Payahuunadü, honors indigenous people whose connections to this valley stretch back to time immemorial.Just outside the visitor center, Block 14 features two reconstructed barracks and a women’s latrine, as well as a restored World War II-era mess hall. The barracks exhibits offer an in-depth exploration of the challenges and changes people faced in their daily lives at Manzanar. An exhibit on schools is featured in the north end of Barracks 8. The mess hall exhibits highlight the logistics and politics of food in Manzanar. The women’s latrine powerfully evokes the humiliation people endured during private moments in public spaces.

The Manzanar Committee’s 55th Annual Pilgrimage Ceremony begins at noon, Saturday, April 27, at the Manzanar Cemetery. A free shuttle service from the visitor center parking lot to the cemetery will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

UCLA Kyodo Taiko will kick off the event with traditional Japanese taiko drumming at 11:30 a.m., followed by the procession of camp banners at noon.

Don Tamaki will be the keynote speaker at the 55th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Tamaki is best-known as Co-Counsel for Fred Korematsu during his Coram Nobis court case in which he appealed his 1944 conviction for violating the order that forcibly removed Japanese/Japanese American from the West Coast and incarcerated them in American concentration camps and other confinement sites. Tamaki helped lead a successful effort to get Korematsu’s conviction vacated in U.S.District Court in 1984.

The Pilgrimage program concludes with a traditional interfaith service and ondo dancing. The Manzanar Committee requests that those wishing to pay tribute by placing flowers on the base of the cemetery monument please bring their own flowers.

The Manzanar At Dusk program begins at 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Lone Pine High School located at 538 South Main Street (Hwy. 395) in Lone Pine. The program offers participants opportunities for intergenerational discussions and sharing. The program is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, California State University (CSU), Fullerton CSU, Long Beach, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego.

With the exception of Friday evening’s reception and Saturday evening’s Manzanar At Dusk program, all events take place at Manzanar National Historic Site located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, nine miles north of Lone Pine, and approximately 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

There is no food service at Manzanar. Please bring your own chair, a water bottle, and lunch or snacks. Wear sunscreen, a hat, comfortable shoes, and dress for the weather.

While considering traveling to Manzanar, you may also want to learn more about the Manzanar Museum Program. Rangers Sarah Saxe and Sarah Bone will be at the Manzanar Visitor Center to answer questions and to assist visitors with information on how to donate as well as how to visit the Manzanar Collection stored in Death Valley National Park. With an appointment, this opportunity is open for research or to reconnect with family items that have been donated in the past. You can also arrange for a more general tour of the collection with the curator.

For more information on Manzanar National Historic Site, please call 760-878-2194 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/manz. Additional Pilgrimage program information is posted on the Manzanar Committee blog at https://manzanarcommittee.org


Manzanar Committee


Manzanar National Historic Site
Manzanar Reward Rd California + Google Map
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