Manzanar Pilgrimage FAQ

The following is GENERAL INFORMATION about the Manzanar Pilgrimage, which is subject to change each year, depending on circumstances, external factors, etc. Be sure to check out the information on the current year’s Pilgrimage at Manzanar Pilgrimage – Current Year Information.

Q: What is the Manzanar Pilgrimage?

A: The program includes speakers, cultural performances, an interfaith service, and Ondo dancing at the conclusion. Since the program varies each year, please refer to the press releases, stories and other materials published on this web site for information on the upcoming Pilgrimage (see Manzanar Pilgrimage – Current Year Information). Publicity for the next Pilgrimage usually begins in late January or early February each year.

Q: When is the Manzanar Pilgrimage scheduled for?

A: The annual Manzanar Pilgrimage is always scheduled for the last Saturday in April. The program usually begins at 11:30 AM and runs until roughly 2:30 PM (times are subject to change each year).

Q: Do participants have to register or make reservations? Is there a fee?

A: No registration or reservation is required to attend (this does not apply to our bus transportation). The event is free and open to the public.

Q: Where is the Manzanar Pilgrimage held?

A: The Manzanar Pilgrimage is held at the Manzanar National Historic Site (at the cemetery; northwest corner of the site), approximately 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles, on U.S. Highway 395 (see map below for directions).

Q: Is bus transportation to the Pilgrimage available?

A: The Manzanar Committee usually sponsors a bus that leaves from Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. Other community organizations may also sponsor buses. Keep an eye out for press releases announcing the availability of bus transportation (see Manzanar Pilgrimage – Current Year Information).

Q: Are food and drinks available at Manzanar?

A: No. Please bring your own food/snacks. Water will be provided, but participants are asked to bring a refillable water bottle that may be refilled at stations on site.

Q: What is the weather like at Manzanar during the Pilgrimage?

A:Be prepared for ANY kind of weather, as it can change very, very quickly along the slopes of the Eastern Sierra. Winds usually kick up as we go deeper into the afternoon. Bring a hat, sunscreen and lip balm and USE THEM, even if its cloudy, as ultraviolet light penetrates clouds and is rather intense at higher elevations. Also, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER while you’re there. STAY HYDRATED EVEN IF THE WEATHER IS MILD. The air is much drier at higher elevations.

Q: Is there a religious service during the Pilgrimage?

A: YES. An interfaith service has traditionally been a part of the Pilgrimage program. For those participating in the traditional flower offering, please be sure to bring your own flowers. The Manzanar Committee cannot provide flowers for everyone.

Q: Can we collect items found on the site as souvenirs, or for other purposes?

A: NO. Manzanar National Historic Site is protected land. Collecting anything from the site, no matter if it looks like it was just trash (many such items are actually historic), is prohibited by Federal law. As the saying goes, Take only photographs. Leave only footprints.

Don’t forget about our Manzanar At Dusk program that follows the annual Pilgrimage that same evening! See the FAQ for that event (coming soon).

LEAD PHOTO: A shot of the crowd at the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 29, 2017. Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee.

Manzanar National Historic Site via Google Maps

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