Tue, Jul 07, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: US celebrates its 233rd birthday with a splash at Taichung bonanza

By Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

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With the smell of freshly grilled cheeseburgers and sounds of live band music in the air, the annual Fourth of July festival in Taichung City kicked off with a blast on Saturday, attracting a large crowd for celebrations of the US’ 233rd birthday.

Hailed as one of the largest foreign community events in the city, the organizer — the American Chamber of Commerce Taichung — delivered on its promise to give Americans and other expatriates a taste from back home.

Splashed with red, blue and white banners and American flags, the festivity featured 28 vendor booths sponsored by the city’s leading restaurants and hotels.

Games, food, music — even a poker table — as well as a full-line up of local bands playing jazz, blues, funk and country music, made the event an unforgettable experience.

While many fair goers danced to the music, others relaxed and caught up with old friends on the lawn.

“This is awesome. This is what I would do on July 4th … barbeque, hamburgers on the grill, beer, and hanging out barefoot at the park,” said Kate Harman, a native of San Diego teaching English in Nantou as she sat on a blanket with her friend, Farra Williams of Oklahoma.

David Chen (陳家威), a computer engineer from Taipei, said he and his friends had been looking forward to the event because of the “great food and amazing music.”

“This reminds me the Independence Day celebration I went to when I was studying in the US a few years ago,” he said.

Throughout the day, ­the Taichung AmCham also sold tickets for a charity raffle, with all the proceeds going to ­Taichung AmCham’s KIDZ charity program and benefiting local orphans and children with special needs.

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