Plano is an inclusive, friendly town where one out of every four residents was born in a different country, according to census.gov. Our diversity is evidenced by the many churches, temples, mosques, ethnic grocery stores and restaurants in our city. One of the festivals that best celebrates the rich cultural backgrounds found here is AsiaFest.
Celebrating its 16th year, Plano’s AsiaFest is one of the city’s oldest festivals. Annually it brings together more than 12 thousand people from around the community. Various countries from Asia are represented including Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
Organized by the Asian American Heritage Foundation, a non-profit all-volunteer organization, AsiaFest 2019 will be held Saturday, May 4 in Downtown Plano’s Haggard Park from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Festival admission is free, and plenty of free parking is nearby.
This family-friendly event is a fun-filled day of dance performances, live music, martial arts demonstrations, a fashion show featuring traditional garments and various other cultural demonstrations. The Taiko drums, henna tattoos and the lion and dragon dance are can’t-miss attractions. New this year will be a fashion show dedicated to traditional wedding dresses found all over Asia.
Children and adults can try to learn a few phrases in fascinating Asian languages. Chinese and Indian medicine practitioners will answer questions about how alternative medicine works and demonstrate healing techniques in Ayurveda, acupressure and more. The children’s area will feature activities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), and kids can try different musical instruments, as well as other hands-on activities like painting, calligraphy and modeling.
In addition, this year’s AsiaFest will host a month-long art exhibition featuring Asian fine art and calligraphy through May 15 in the nearby lobby of the Courtyard Theater.
As they do every year in honor of the event, “City Council members will proclaim the first week of May to be Plano’s Asian American Heritage Week,” said Feroz Alpaiwalla, chairperson of the festival this year.
Come dressed in traditional colorful garments and enjoy a day of cultural immersion. Don’t have anything fun to wear? All varieties of ethnic clothing and accessories will be available for purchase at the festival. And come hungry; there will be booths serving samosas to chicken satay and everything in between.
Photos from AsiaFest 2018 // Emilee Prado:AsiaFest >