The Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. organizes Sawasdee DC Thai Festival right in front of the U.S. Capitol for the first time to commemorate 190 years of Thai-U.S. diplomatic relations

On 2 July 2023, Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Team Thailand organized the “Sawasdee DC Thai Festival” on the National Mall, in front of the U.S. Capitol, to commemorate the 190th anniversary of Thai-U.S. diplomatic relations. At the opening ceremony, the event was attended by a number of US dignitaries including Ms. Erika Moritsugu, Deputy Assistant to the President and AAPI Senior Liaison, Mr. Robert Ogburn, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Media, Mr. Ben de Guzmen, Executive Director of Mayor’s Office on AAPI Affairs, Mr. Jim Walker, Board Member of AFS-USA, and Dr. John Bader, Executive Director of Fulbright Association.On this occasion, Ambassador Tanee Sangrat delivered his opening remarks by emphasizing the multidimensional alliance between Thailand and the U.S., which started with economic and trade and later expanded to defense and security. These also included a myriad areas of cooperation on all fronts.

Aside from marking the two-century ties between Thailand and the U.S., “Sawasdee DC Thai Festival” was also an important platform to present Thai food and agricultural products such as the first import of pomeloes and Thai shrimps raised in Florida as well as the country’s culture, heritage, and history through Thai-American cultural performances and various activities on both the main stage and through various outlets around the festival. These comprised Thai-U.S. cultural parade led by the U.S. Quantico Marine Corps Band, Muay Thai demonstration by celebrated Muay Thai Champion “Buakaw Banchamek”, T-Pop performance by the famous “4 Mix” Thai LGBTQ+ pop music group, and rising Thai pop star “Ally Nitibon”, performance of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s royal compositions by “Wendell Brunious” and the New Orleans Quintet, Nuad Thai (traditional Thai massage) demonstration, Som Tam competition, Thai food demonstration by the Ambassador’s Chef, and a variety of music and dance performances by various Thai communities and associations across the U.S., including D.C., Florida, Boston, Minnesota and Moradok-Mai Theatre group. As a conclusion, a Muay Thai match was organized by International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA) and USA Muay Thai.

“Sawasdee DC Thai Festival” benefited Thailand in all dimensions, be they political, economic, or social. It was estimated that over 30,000 people joined for the event. This indeed reflected the 190 years of enduring friendship between both nations. Most importantly, the ultimate success of this festival had been proven by the unwavering supports from the Thai communities and associations across the U.S., the Thai and U.S. businesses, the local and federal authorities, as well as all friends of Thailand.

The official sponsors of “Sawasdee DC Thai Festival” are C.P. Group, CPF, PTT, PTTGC America, Indorama Ventures, SCG, Nitto, Marriott International, New Orleans & Company, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, USA Muay Thai, International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA), National Sports Development Fund, Nuad Thai and Spa Association of America, Thai-American Association Washington, D.C., Thai Isan Association of Washington, D.C., Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota, Thai American Association of South Florida, AFS, Fulbright, and Peace Corps.