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History of Little Saigon

A Brief History of Little Saigon

On June 17, 1988, then-Governor of California, George Deukmejian, came to Westminster and officially dedicated the name "Little Saigon" to the area bordered by Westminster Boulevard, Bolsa Avenue, Magnolia Street, and Euclid Street.

After the Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975, a huge wave of Vietnamese refugees left their homeland and resettled in the United States. The largest concentration of the refugees settled in Westminster, California. Little Saigon evolved in the mid-1970's when refugees from the Vietnam War settled in the area because of the climate, the prospect of reunions with friends, and job opportunities.

In September 1989, the Westminster City Council designated Little Saigon a tourist zone and special redevelopment project. This roughly three square mile area is the home of more than 3500 Vietnamese-American businesses. A few started as early as 1977.

The heart of Little Saigon, is located on a mile-long strip of Bolsa Avenue between Magnolia Avenue to the west and Brookhurst Avenue to the east. Little Saigon is a major tourist attraction representing the largest concentration of shopping and Vietnamese cultural amenities in the world outside Vietnam. Popular Little Saigon attractions include the Asian Garden Mall, a 150,000 square foot shopping place of ethnic boutiques, shops, cafes, and the largest gold jewelry mart under one roof in the Orange County, CA.

Little Saigon represents for many Southeast Asians a tie to their past and a gateway to their future. Among the top entertainment attractions in Orange County, Little Saigon has all the dimensions of an exciting and diversified Asian experience.

On June 15, 2013, 10,000 guests gathered in Asian Garden Mall to mark the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Dedication of Little Saigon. Elected officials, dignitaries, and residents enjoyed the entertainment by Vietnamese singers and dancers on the stage in the middle of the Mall where Gov. Duekmajian had stood 25 years earlier.

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