The Guadalupe Buddhist Church will not host its annual Obon Festival this year due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the church announced on Thursday.

Members of the Guadalupe Buddhist Church each year hold the special event to remember and honor their ancestors. The event typically features traditional dances, food and cultural exhibits such as bonsai tree-shaping demonstrations and martial arts demonstrations, as well as taiko drumming and a traditional Japanese dance performance called the Bon-Odori.

The festival is set to return next year on July 31, a church spokesman said.

The Santa Barbara Foundation provided a $5,000 grant towards the renovation of Guadalupe's LeRoy Park, the oldest community park in Santa Barbara County. As of mid-May 2021 the campaign had raised $460,000 (approximately 78 percent of the goal) with donations still coming in. The renovations are set to be completed in September 2021.

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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