The capital city of the United States of America, Washington DC, was the venue for the 2023 Sawasdee Festival. The event, which was organized by the Royal Thai Embassy in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sport Authority of Thailand, the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), the International Federation of Muaythai Associations (IFMA), and USA Muaythai, was a spectacular festival which will stay in memory and hearts for many years to come.
The event took place in the iconic center right in front of Capitol Hill and was visited by well over 10,000 people. The main stage was full of activities in which muaythai played the central role, with muaythai superstar Buakaw Banchamek taking he audience through the traditional parts of muaythai, performing the Wai Kru accompanied by the traditional IFMA pi muay band, and then afterwards thousands saw the muaythai workout led by Buakaw.
The parade was over 300m long, led by the army band leading all participants to the mainstage. In the ring, real muaythai was exhibited to a packed audience. All aspects of muaythai were showcased; with wai kru performances, muaythai contests, crowd entertainment and much more. Numerous VIPs were part of the event, the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was present,as well as Representatives of the Olympics, Paralympics, and Special Olympic movements, and numerous muaythai gyms from across the United States of America.
A special thank you must go to the USA Muaythai Federation President Michael Corley. This event was not only a celebration of the 190 Years Thailand-US diplomatic relations, but also a celebration of the full recognition by the Olympic and Paralympics Committee of the United States for muaythai.
The Little Giant Muaythai Gym under Thanat Tanachon, or Kru Chon, supported the entire event and the demonstrations with Buakaw.
The event had it all, certainly with muaythai at the center with Buakaw, the USA Muaythai Federation, the pi muay, and wai kru and mae muay performances, as well as Nuad Thai, Thai cooking, Thai fashion, and Thai fun. It was an amazing event, especially for the youth of the world. Once again, it has been shown how a festival from the highest level should be organized, with the proper support from all the departments.