Your Guide to the 2016 Tet Festival

According to the Vietnamese calendar, we’re quickly approaching the Year of the Monkey. The monkey means curiosity, happiness, and playfulness, but it also means that the Vietnamese New Year, known as Tết Nguyên Ðán, is drawing near. This significant holiday brings with it the annual Tết Festival, which for 2016 promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

To make sure that you don’t miss a single moment of the excitement, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about the 2016 Tết Festival. Let’s take a look!

History of the Tết Festival

group_young_adult_friendsIn 1982, the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations Southern California (UVSA) was founded as a non-profit community-based organization committed to preserving and celebrating Vietnamese culture in Southern California. Through the ambition and determination of student members and a few volunteers, the UVSA was able to organize the first Tết Festival more than 34 years ago.

Now the festival is a thriving annual celebration that’s become one of the most highly anticipated events of the year for the surrounding communities.

Events and Contests

More than just a New Year celebration, the 2016 Tết Festival hosts a number of exciting contests and special events for you and your family to enjoy, the first of which is the Miss Vietnam of Southern California Pageant. This event strives to “elevate the Vietnamese American female as a national symbol of beauty and pride,” according to the 2016 Tết Festival website.

But that’s not the only fun activity that you can get involved in. There’s also a children’s pageant, a Phở eating contest, a short film contest, and a floral arrangement contest.

However, there’s no doubt that one of the most popular events at this year’s Tết Festival will be the talent show. Scheduled for Saturday, February 13, the talent show is open to any unique or interesting talent. Whether you’re a dance group or you’ve got a couple of funny one-liners, you’ll have the chance to perform live in front of thousands of people.

Getting Tickets to the 2016 Tết Festival

tickets-vintageThis year’s festival will be held from Friday, February 12 to Sunday, February 14 at the Orange County Fair & Event Center. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online from the official Tết Festival website. Here’s what you need to know to secure admission:


  • 2/12: 4 to 11 pm
  • 2/13: 11 am to 11 pm
  • 2/14: 11 am to 10 pm


  • $5 plus convenience fee for one-day pass purchased online
  • $13 plus convenience fee for three-day pass purchased online
  • $6 general admission purchased at the door
  • Children ages 2 and younger are free

Want to know more about the 2016 Tết Festival and how you can get involved? Visit the official Tết Festival website and check out their volunteer application.

Unique Valentine’s Day Dates Near Cerritos, CA

Love might be in the air, but to really sweep your sweetheart of their feet this Valentine’s Day, you’re going to need some impressive date ideas. That’s where we come in. Using Cupid’s bow to point you in the right direction, we’re sharing 3 fun V-Day date ideas around Cerritos, CA, that are sure to leave your sugar completely love struck.

Go Old School with a Drive-In Movie

MovieReel_FilmDrive-in movie theaters like Vineland offer one of the most classic Valentine’s Day date ideas around. Picture this: You and your babe close together in the back seat. Maybe you’ve got your arm around their shoulders. A romantic evening under the stars while some of the season’s hottest films play out on a massive screen. You’ll probably be awarded Valentine of the Yearfor coming up with such a great date idea.

  • Vineland is located at 443 North Vineland Avenue, City of Industry, CA
  • Gates open at 6:30 pm on Valentine’s Day
  • General admission is $9

Whip Up Something Lovely at a Cooking Class

You know what they say: A couple that cooks together, um…well you get what we mean. A cooking class is a fun and creative way for you and your honey to get closer together and make something delicious.

You can sign up for a special Valentine’s Day dinner cooking class at Prep Kitchen Essentials in Seal Beach. For less than $100, you and your date will enjoy a fun and interactive class that culminates with a V-Day meal you both will love.

  • Enroll now to save your spot
  • Wine served throughout the evening
  • Class runs from 6 to 8:30 pm

Climb to New Heights in Your Relationship with a Rock Climb

Valentine roseIndoor rock climbing isn’t for everyone, but if your valentine loves a good challenge, then this could be the perfect date idea to help you grow as a couple. The Cerritos area is lucky enough to have not just one but two terrific rock climbing gyms located nearby.

Hangar 18 Long Beach in Signal Hill offers more than 12,000 square feet of climbing terrain for you and your date to conquer. Whether you’re a first-time climber looking to try something new or a veteran of the sport in search of a challenging 70-feet indoor route, Hangar 18 has something for everyone. However, keep in mind that they’re only open until 8 pm on Valentine’s Day, so plan to go before you head out to dinner.

The other indoor rock climbing gym we recommend is Rock City Climbing in Anaheim. This gym is a true community of climbers, featuring a safe and family-friendly environment. With a supportive staff of climbing pros, Rock City is a great place to learn something new with your significant other and maybe even discover a new passion. Open until 6 pm on Valentine’s Day, head over in the early afternoon to make sure that you don’t miss your dinner plans.

We hope you and your date enjoy these unique Valentine’s Day date ideas around Cerritos, CA. If you’d like to learn about other attractions and events happening in your area, check out our blog!