Brief History

Cambodian Coordinating Council (Cam-CC) was founded in 1999 in response to a decision to move the Cambodian New Year Festival from Long Beach to Irwindale, miles away from the center of the Cambodian community in Long Beach.

In 1999, the city of Long Beach denied permission to the New Year committee to host the festival at El Dorado Park, where it has been hosted many years prior. The city cited several reasons including concerns for violence from past New Year festivals. Consequently, the organizers of the New Year Festival moved the festival to Santa Fe Dam in the city Irwindale.

This move drew many concerns, especially from community activists. It became clear that the Cambodian community interests need to be better represented. So several individuals from the community formed a new organization called Cambodian Coordinating Council or Cam-CC. This new organization would be composed of individual board members from Cambodian organizations throughout Long Beach. At one point, Cam-CC contained 17 different Cambodian organizations. With this unity, Cam-CC hopes to be able to represent the Cambodian community interests in Long Beach.

Cam-CC set its first goal which was to address the New Year festival. Cam-CC felt that the Cambodian community in Long Beach needs to be able to celebrate the traditional Cambodian New Year in their home city. After organized demonstrations and hard work by Cam-CC, the city agreed to have the Cambodian New Year at El Dorado Park, Long Beach. At the same time, the city placed heavy requirements for security. The city required a large number of police officers to patrol the event which imposed a tremendous expense to Cam-CC.

Cam-CC hosted the New Year Celebration 2000 back in Long Beach despite the overwhelming cost. The New Year Celebration was a success in terms of organization, safety, and community participation. However, Cam-CC did not acquire sufficient funds to offset city expenses. The next year in 2001, instead of hosting another New Year Celebration, Cam-CC organized another protest to lower the number of officers patrolling the New Year Celebration.

As a result, Cam-CC hosted 2002 New Year Celebration with lower city expenses. The celebration was successful and safe. Cam-CC was able to cover all the expenses. In 2003 and 2004 Cam-CC continued to host the New Year Celebration. Each year Cam-CC continues to make improvements to the event. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages helped to make the events successful. Students from high school and college began to play major roles in planning the event.

In 2005, the New Year celebration was extraordinarily successful with more activities, more volunteers and more support from the community and sponsors. Similarly in 2006, the organization improve even further on the last year’s success.

Cambodian New Year Parade Association started the first Cambodian New Year Parade along Anaheim St. in April 2005. In the middle of 2006, after the second annual Cambodian New Year Parade, Cam-CC successfully merged with Cambodia New Year Parade Association.

In 2007, Cam-CC hosted both the Cambodian New Year Celebration at El Dorado Park and Cambodian New Year Parade along Anaheim Street successfully.