Despite persistent rain on Sunday, a crowd of about 34,000 people attended the 8th annual Cleveland Asian Festival on the weekend of May 20 and 21 in Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood on Payne Avenue.
Wayne Wong served as MC for the 2017 Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF).
Wayne asked the crowd how many were newcomers to CAF and AsiaTown and about 25% of the crowd indicated they were.
NOTE: All the images below with a white arrow in the middle are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is described. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.
Wayne told the crowd a little about the mission of CAF in Cleveland's AsiaTown before introducing Vi Huynh who is one of the three founders of CAF. Vi thanked the volunteers and Wayne thanked the sponsors.
Wayne introduced the Kwan Family Lion Dance for their annual kickoff performance. Wayne also explained some of the symbolism of the lion dance. Here are some highlights of the Kwan Family Lion Dance.
Kwan Family Lion Dance Team
Next, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson spoke to the crowd. Wayne then introduced Cleveland Police Department (CPD) Commander Jones and 15 CPD officers of Asian heritage for recognition.
Brunswick Mayor Ron Falconi is of Filipino heritage and he spoke at the 2017 Cleveland Asian festival. He said we are all united because we all call America our home.
Brunswick Mayor Ron Falconi
Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman TJ Dow represents 3 neighborhoods: Hough, St Clair-Superior and AsiaTown. He spoke at the 2017 Cleveland Asian Festival about how the cultural education and diversity is important.
Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman TJ Dow
Ohio State Representative for District 10 Bill Patmon spoke about the festival and neighborhood.
Ohio State Representative for District 10 Bill Patmon
Wayne introduced the members of the Executive Board of the Festival: Vi Huynh, Lisa Wong, Johnny Wu, Mike Mendoza, Siu-yan Scott and Yin Tang.
Cleveland Asian Festival Executive Board (not in photo, Deborah Yue)
Wayne had to leave early because of personal issues but his replacement Asim Datta thanked him on behalf of all of us.
The persistent rain on Sunday forced the OCA Cleveland Dragon Dance Team to move inside Asia Plaza instead of parading through the Festival grounds. But they did a great job in the Plaza and even danced through Li Wah restaurant to the delight of the diners.
New to the 2017 Cleveland Asian Festival was a demonstration of Asian cooking. Anjan Ghose assisted by his wife Kathy presented two dishes.
Anjan prepared Cucumber Raita (Cucumber in Yogurt) and then a Sweet and Sour Strawberry Snack.
Vietnamese Cooking demonstration by Pho Thang Cafe
New to the 2017 Cleveland Asian Festival was a demonstration of Asian cooking. Nancy and Susan from Pho Thang Cafe presented two dishes.
They prepared Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad and then Vietnamese Summer Rolls.
Stay informed about the local Asian by signing up for the free Asian eNews mailings. You can select other specific (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, etc.) groups as well. It's easy and free. Fill out the form for the free Asian eNews.
If it's Asian in Cleveland, it's on ClevelandPeople.Com***