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White River Buddhist Temple Bon Odori Cancelled for First Time in 50 Years

White River Buddhist Temple released the following statement announcing the cancellation if its annual in-person Bon Odori due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

For the first time in fifty years, White River Buddhist Temple will not be holding its annual in-person Bon Odori festival this year. While the Temple traditionally holds its annual Bon Odori festival on the third weekend in July, this year, the Temple will be virtually streaming it’s Bon Odori with a traditional Buddhist service followed by a short socially distanced performance by Temple dance instructors on the evening of August 9th. The event will be streamed on the Temple’s Youtube Page.

“For the first time in over fifty years, White River has cancelled its in-person Bon Odori festival. This decision does not come lightly, but the safety of our Temple members and community is of utmost importance,” says Kendall Kosai, Bon Odori Co-Chair. “We hope that the community will continue to support our Temple through the alternative methods we have provided this year.”

In addition, the Temple is also working to lessen the financial impact of cancelling its in-person festival by
providing new options for attendees to support the Temple. Members and the public are encouraged to dedicate a lantern in memory of a loved one (free but donations gladly accepted) or purchase a flower bouquet that can be picked up on the morning of August 8th. Orders are by pre-order only.

All information about this year’s Bon Odori can be found on our website at: www.wrbt.org/bonodori2020 .

Founded in 1912, White River Buddhist Temple is a diverse community of people that practice the daily teachings of the Buddha. The temple was founded by Japanese immigrants who followed the Jodo Shinshu faith founded by Shinran Shonin. Over the years our temple has evolved to include people with a variety of ethnicities and cultures. We strive to be a diverse and inclusive Sangha, and most of all, we like to share and enjoy living harmoniously with everyone.

In other news, 2020 is officially why we can’t have nice things.


The above is a press release from White River Buddhist Temple .  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its contents. 

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