It may not fall exactly on the Fourth of July, but this Sunday’s Independence Day celebration in Taichung is shaping up to be the biggest American Independence Day event in Taiwan. Organized by the Taichung American Chamber of Commerce and partially co-sponsored by the Taichung City Government, the free, family-friendly event will feature American-style food vendors, sponsor booths, a beer tent, a silent auction, a ventriloquist performance, an activity booth for kids and a full day of live music.
“Since its founding in 1993, Taichung AmCham has worked to build social and cultural bridges between Taichung’s international and local communities,” said America Day Celebration organizing committee chairman Douglas Habecker. “A key element of this is America Day, our biggest annual event. Our goal is to make America Day a fun showcase for all things American, not just for Taichung but for the entire island, too.”
After a number of years at different locations around the city, organizers settled down last year at the new Calligraphy Greenway (草悟道) just north of Taichung’s popular People’s Park (市民廣場). The tree-lined parkway, which is now the permanent venue for the event, features wide walkways, large open spaces and enough shade for those who like to dance to take a bit of a breather between bands.
Sunday’s event marks two decades of Taichung AmCham America Day celebrations, and organizers are going all out. In addition to the traditional red, white, and blue decorations, the celebration will also feature such popular Fourth of July fare as hamburgers and lemonade, and live American-style country and rock music from local favorites 2 Acres Plowed, Hell Bent Angels, and one-man-band Mike Mudd, among others. To round out the all-American summertime feel, there will also be a Ford Mustang on display.
“For a lot of people in Taichung, the America Day event had become muddled up in recent years as quite similar to the Compass Food and Music Festival,” organizing committee member Courtney Donovan Smith told the Taipei Times. “There will still be a range of international cuisines at America Day, but this year the organizers and sponsors wanted to showcase traditional Fourth of July food and American-style music.”
This year’s America Day celebration will also include a silent auction for a round-trip plane ticket to any American destination served by United Airlines, as well as two round-trip tickets to Osaka, Japan on TransAsia Airways.