One step out of your car and you will be taken by it — the alluring aroma of teriyaki chicken. It's the telltale sign that the 49th Annual Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church’s Bazaar is open.
The famous teriyaki chicken, all types of sushi, various Japanese sweets and the "TeriBurger" are just a few of the delicacies that draw people to a Union City festival that is almost as old the city itself.
The two-day event continues today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“People come for the food and stay for fun,” said Dr. Walter Hashimoto, the bazaar's chairman. “We have games for the kids; BINGO, which is very popular; and the Silent Auction, which is in its third year. That's just some of it.”
The bazaar features a number of kid-friendly games that pretty much guarantee that players will walk away with some pretty good prizes for a few dollars. There are also “Adult’s Only” games that offer a bit more risk.
The church is also holding a $2,500 raffle with the winners being announced 7 p.m. on Sunday. Raffle tickets can be purchased at the bazaar; ticket holders need not be present to win.
Step inside Sangha Hall and you will find a world of treats and entertainment. At any given time, an instrumental or dance act will be performing on stage to entertain as you dine on the vast menu of Japanese food being offered.
Also located within the hall is the church's Women's Auxiliary Boutique, which offers handmade gifts and aprons. It is a popular attraction each year, according to Hashimoto.
Don't pass up the popular “Your Name in Japanese” booth, located within the busy Book Sale section of the hall, where you can have your name written in Japanese.
The numerous attractions are what keep residents coming back.
“We never miss it,” said Union City resident Sylvia Sandoval. “For the past 25 years, my family has looked forward to it every it summer. The chicken, BINGO, the games for the kids. It’s the best!”
There is still time to get some of that famous teriyaki chicken, play a BINGO card, or simply check out the vibe of a Union City institution.
The 49th Annual Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church’s Bazaar will be open on Sunday, July 10, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The church is located at 32975 Alvarado-Niles Rd. For more information., call 510-476-1415.