On Sunday, April 30, 2023, The Indo Project was present at the well-attended 33rd Annual Holland Festival celebrating Dutch King’s Day in Long Beach, California. This year the two annual Dutch events, Holland Festival and Dutch King’s Day, merged into ONE BIG EVENT! Over two thousand people showed up for this Dutch American gathering celebrating Dutch and Indo culture.
The Holland Festival has been organized for over thirty years and has become the largest family and friends gathering for Dutch-Americans in Southern California. Dutch King’s Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands to honor their monarch’s birthday. The actual birthday of King Willem Alexander is April 27th and is celebrated in the Netherlands as Koningsdag.
Video Caption: We made the news! It was still early in the day. The Indo Project Vice Chair Jeff Keasberry‘s comments was about the many ‘Indonesian food vendors’ at the event, explaining that many visitors have roots in the former Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia).
The Holland Festival date was moved from Memorial Day weekend in May to Labor Day weekend in September. The 2021 festival was a wonderful well-attended event as people were coming out of the COVID19 times. However, last year’s 2022 Holland Festival during Labor Day weekend was more difficult because of the intense heat wave.
It was a TIP top day meeting people and driving its mission – educating, unifying and preserving the culture of the people of the former Dutch East Indies. The Indo Project’s board enjoyed connecting with supporters and followers at this in-person event. The Indo Project displayed a map allowing people with ties to the former Dutch East Indies to locate where their families originated.
The Indo Project Chair Priscilla Kluge McMullen: It was so exciting to see the great number of people who attended from many backgrounds, not only Indos, but young, old, Dutch, Latinx, etc. We were thrilled to meet face to face with some of our faithful supporters like Cor van Overeem, Helene Alting-Siberg, James van Delden (Oregon), Sandra Barks (Oklahoma), and so many others. We love seeing the smiling faces full of PRIDE of their Dutch Indo heritage. What really surprised me was the number of people who came to the The Indo Project’s booth wanting to know more about their Indo culture and history. The Indo Project Team was at its best, and it showed in the numbers that were attracted to the its booth. It was exhilarating meeting so many people interested in The Indo Project’s mission and wanting to be part of it.
The Indo Project board member Jamie Stern: The Indo Project loves having the opportunity to meet with members of the Indo community. We were thrilled to visit with the festival attendees. It was so exciting to see such a large turnout. The best sight I saw was an Opa with a bunch of his grandbabies and great-grandchildren. I am also thankful that the weather cooperated.
Many Dutch and Indonesian food items were sold like poffertjes, kroketten, bitterballen stroopwafels, oliebollen, appelflappen, haring, patat friet, satay, lemper and complete meals. Of course, Heineken beer was on tap. Various merchandise vendors celebrating Dutch and Indo heritages were available to purchase. Among the diverse group of vendors were long time The Indo Project supporters: