Wat Lao Buddhavong July 4th, 2009 Concert

Our family attended the annual July 4th celebration at Wat Lao Buddhavong in Catlett Virginia this past weekend, this year turnout on Saturday was not bad but Sunday was very few and far in between since it drizzled some.  I think it was a disappointment for many that went to see their favorite singers and they weren’t there, several Thai ladies that sat behind me asked if Mike Piromporn was performing, and I knew earlier from a Thai performer, Gorvidt that he was the only one from Thailand.  I think they were very disappointed and left shortly after that, it’s ashamed that the Wat (Temple) didn’t post any poster of the event like the previous years.  I didn’t get to stay and watch the whole concert, the music was too loud and I had a migraine headache so I left after I saw Gorvidt.

This is Voradeth Ditthavong, a famous Lao musician.


Jonny Olsen was playing his Khaen demonstration.

Jonny Olson was singing a Lao song while Lao Johnny played the Khaen, they looked like they’d make a great team.

Lao Johnny had a little helper, she is obviously not ready for a stage performance based on the noises that she was making.

Gorvidt was once a famous leading man for the Thai Drama (Lakorn) and movie in his younger years.  He is now a producer, and also actor but plays mostly the villain role, and he sang on Saturday and Sunday concert.

On Sunday, we stayed long enough to see Thai singers, the Snap band, playing string music.

A Lao singer that I didn’t catch his name.

People that were there on Saturday, not a bad turnout.

The event was covered by Lao Power TV, you can watch the first video here, and second video here which  has the concert and dancers.

Continued at Wat Lao Buddhavong July 4th, 2009 Concert Quebec Dancers


  1. I worked the stand at our Wat celebration. I was selling O-lieng and a plate of chicken and rice. There were very few people this year, so I lost profit! But it was fun… It was my first Kao Pun Sa celebration that I participated in.

    Was this concert in NC?

    • Hi lady0fdarkness, it’s in VA, I updated my post to make it clearer for others, thanks. I’m behind in replying my other comments, hope to get to it tonight.

      Some of my sisters were thinking of doing this as well, but it’d not cover cost imo. I talked to one vendor and he said he saw a huge difference in people attending the event, it was more back then because the Wat bought singers from Thailand, but now it’s not like that anymore, I guess things have changed some, they skimmed down on the entertainment side. Even though it’s a Lao Wat but they are many Thai worshipers that helped built the Wat, and to me there shouldn’t be any separation when it comes to Buddhism.

  2. Nye,

    I never been to this VA temple, but I’ve heard and seen so many good thai/lao musicians performed there in that past. So, have you notices the number of crowds drop compare to the past years? Perhaps, the economy had alot to do with it too.

    • Hi seeharhed, my first time visiting was in 1997 and I recalled that they had a good turnout, and I spoke to one of the vendors on Saturday, he said that they used to charge twice of what they changed for the booth back then, but it was worth it because many people attended and it was very festive back then. He noticed that other Wat are also celebrating July 4th now, so less people attend the Wat Lao Buddhavong July 4th event. If I’ve to guess, it’s the lack of famous entertainers from Thailand, I emailed to ask over a week ago about who all was coming, and no reply from the Wat.

      From now on, I think things will change as far as bringing entertainers. I believed Ajarn Jindar is no longer in charged of bringing performers, but it’s now in charged by the 9 members committee, and from reading the Internet forum correspondences, such as the past Lao new year, they only brought Lao entertainers, and they wanted to do the same for this July 4th, but Ajarn Jindar had already made some arrangement with the Thai entertainers.

      If I’ve to guess, we’d be seeing less and less of the Thai entertainers, and more of Lao local entertainers and eventually all Lao local entertainers only because the committee feel that we’ve many talented Lao entertainers. I don’t know if this would be a good or bad thing when many that attended the Wat and Wat Boun events are the Thais.

  3. Nye
    I was there Saturday only and the crows were much smaller then previous years. I was really disappointed with the entertaining part. The wat web-site haven’t update for years and usually they post the event whose cooming. So now you just show up and get what you get which is really suck. The last good entertainer from Thailand I really like was Tai orratai. she was there a few year back, it was really good. This year I thought they would bring Mike or Cholada. But you know wishful thinking. I am going to skip next year event. I don’t think it’s worth driving 5 hours to see some lame amature-semi professional singer sings some old songs back when I was just a child.
    BORING !!!!

    • salalao, I know what you mean, as for us it’s 6 hours drive, but we stopped for lunch so it takes longer. I’m more of a string music type of person, so I guess it’s hard for them to please everyone, but since they’ve been bringing entertainers from Thailand and everyone is expecting and looking forward to it, I think they should continue to do this, or even bringing musicians from Laos would make most of us happy, but I guess it’s very costly and that’s why it’s like this. It’s a lot cheaper to bring local entertainers.

      I normally don’t post or comment negative things about Wat, but this time I think the Wat committee need to hear what the people have to say, and not just saying it themselves that everyone absolutely loved it when it’s not true. My oldest sister was complaining also.

    • seeharhed, it’s $10 per person to get in (children are free), all the souvenir and food venues are set up inside the gate, also there are 2 stages, and both are busy with singers at all time. Parking is free, and you can camp at the Wat ground if you don’t have a place to stay during the Boun events.

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