On March 29 2015 the Brighton Japanese American Association (BJAA) will host its annual Shrimp and Chow Mein Dinner at the Adams County Fairgrounds, making this the 64th Shrimp Chow Mein Dinner since this organization first started what has become a long time tradition in the Brighton area.
In 1948 the Brighton Japanese American Association was started as the Brighton Nisei Woman’s Club, by second generation Japanese American women after World War II. They wanted to get together to socialize with one another and to find ways to become an important part of the Brighton community. In 1953 the Brighton Nisei Woman’s Club hosted their first fund raising dinner called the Brighton Nisei Woman’s Club Oriental Bazaar under club president Rose Tanabe. This was the first of the 64 dinners hosted by the club. In 1950 the men of Japanese decent founded their own club known the Japanese American Association. The two clubs merged into one club in 1990 to become the Brighton Japanese American Association of today. The decision to merge came about because both clubs shared the same purposes and at times duplicated events and finances.
In addition to a commitment to help with projects within the community, the Brighton Japanese American Association was created to promote and advance the welfare and interests of it members, to help support and better the community and build a better relationship between Americans of Japanese decent and other Americans.
The Brighton Japanese American Association was instrumental in helping raise funds to build the first hospital in Brighton. They still continue to sponsor and support projects in the Brighton area, recently donating money to the Eagle View Adult Center, Meals on Wheels and the Special Olympics of Colorado. Public relations officer for the BJAA, Bob Tagohara said” The club has been doing the Shrimp Chow Mein dinners for 64 years now, with several generations of families and friends helping every year. Under the leadership of Ron Ida, the dinner is always a success. People come to support us, enjoy the food and the opportunity it provides to visit with friends.”
Tickets for the dinner are $12 and can be purchased at the door or from a BJAA member. The dinner starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. The Shrimp Chow Mein dinner is famous for the exceptionally large shrimp they serve and the homemade Chow Mein.