Cleveland Asian Festival

14.) Cleveland Asian Festival – May 22, 2011

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: You can read the 2016 Review at http://ohiofestivals.net/cleveland-asian-festival-2016/

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Last year (2010), when I heard about an Asian Festival starting in Cleveland, I was a unclear on the specifics.

I kept having the impression that it would be a simple festival inside of Asia Plaza (a small mall-like building with restaurants and stores).

So I ended up not going, promising myself that I would attend the following year if everything panned out…

…and it obviously did.

Not only was the Cleveland Asian Festival successful enough to have a second year in 2011, they received more than 30,000 attendants – much more than you could fit inside Asia Plaza.

This anticipated attendance is probably why they took over a two parking lots…

…a section of Payne Avenue…

and Asia Plaza, which was used to host a huge health pavilion with talks, screenings and medical consultations…

…as well as a game of Go.

Considering the size of the festival, the festival committee was kind enough to offer free parking in nearby Cleveland State University parking lots. And although there was a free shuttle service, Julia and I decided to cover that short distance on foot in order to start burning some anticipated calories.

Once on the festival grounds, we were greeted by one of the many volunteers who offered us frisbees and booklets. As time would go on, we would see more and more volunteers (trying to give us more frisbees and booklets) and we would come to realize that this wasn’t only a handful of people putting this together.

This was an entity big enough to bring together Asian ethnic groups that included Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese Filipino, Indian, Laotians and others. In the booklet I received, there were even political endorsements from Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson and Senator Sherrod Brown.

And, at the festival…

…even the FBI was represented.

But our attention focused on the vendors down Payne Avenue and in one of the parking lots where various Asian cultures came together with their booths…


…selling various products from pottery to cultural snacks…

…informing the public about their organizations…

…helping Asians and Asian Americans succeed through services offered…

…seeking help for victims of Asian counties…

…and even gaining support for future area Asian festivals.

They also came together to entertain…
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…whether on the festival grounds…

…or on one of the two available stages.

For the kids…

…there were inflatables to jump on…

…”inflatables” to jump in

…various games…

…and even some face painting.

But you probably already know why we and many others truly came to the Asian Festival…

…the food!

With a large food court taking over the Asia Plaza parking lot…


…the smells of all those dishes overpowered us and made it difficult to choose.

Julia and I started with a healthy and light dish of papaya salad, which we got from the restaurant Bac

…only to then smother it with crushed peanuts and hot sauce.

We then followed this with a slightly less healthy (but still delicious) dish…
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…of hot basil pad thai from the Asian Grille.

By the time I finished it all with some durian ice cream…

…I knew that the walk back to the car wouldn’t help much.

I needed to run a half marathon!

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