Source: The Daily Herald
On April 14, 2004 The Daily Herald reported, "Sabbai-dee pee mai, Elgin! Area residents welcomed the Lao New Year 2547 Saturday with that traditional greeting at the Hemmens Cultural Center. The performing arts venue was transformed into a Laotian paradise with shimmering foil palm trees, traditional Laotian music and dance and tasty portions of Asian food. As many as 400 people were expected at the holiday celebration, the city's largest Laotian cultural event. The event was moved from the Lords Park Pavilion into Elgin's downtown for the first time this year."