Asian Festival Columbus

8.) Asian Festival – Columbus – May 26, 2012

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Every Memorial Day Weekend, since 1995, the Asian Festival has taken place in Franklin Park to provide “visitors an opportunity to taste Asian foods, as well as learn and experience their culture, heritage and traditions through visual arts and cultural displays” (taken from 2012 program).

And they have been doing this with great success, seeing that their attendance numbers have increased from 12,000 in 1995 to more than 150,000 in 2011.

That’s quite a feat!

Being that the weather was supposed to get rather hot and I expected intense crowds to develop at the festival, I got there early…

…but so did many others.

A large food court area filled the air with the smells of various cuisines, including…

…Malaysian…

…Thai…

…Korean…

…Indian…

…Vietnamese…

…and Filipino.

And to help battle the heat…

…there were bubble tea and shaved ice booths…

…and nearby shaded areas to enjoy it.

Behind the food court was a children’s area…

…made up of a large activities tent…

…and a play area…

…equipped with a little hut…

…and photo ops…

…so that kids could connect with various Asian cultures.

From here, the festival became a little confusing because the area was pretty large…

…thank goodness for the signs pointing the ways.

Vendor booths were lined in two main areas…

…beyond the children’s area…

…and on the other side of a pond.

The former mostly had booths held by organizations…

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…such as the Ohio Paper Folders
.

Mount Carmel offering mammograms in the distance…

State Farm (with a spinning wheel)…

Chase Bank (with another wheel)…

…and ABC 6 (with yet another wheel).

It was just wheel-crazy at the Asian Festival and I’m not sure if there was a cultural significance or not…

…but it IS the year of the dragon…

…so I took a shot and won this cool lunch bag*.

The latter vendor area consisted mostly of merchandise…

…including plants…

…jewelry…

…clothing…

…fun cultural items…

…and local art (Alissa Renzetti).

There was also info on traveling shows (Shen Yun)…

yoga

…and some free Chinese name translation.

Various performances took place all over the festival grounds…
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…such as a meditative Tai Chi performance on the Martial Arts Stage…

…a calming koto performance near the food area…

…an impressive sepak takraw match behind the vendors…

…a lively drum performance on the Amphitheater Stage…


…and a waterlily dance on the Adventure Stage.

On such a hot day…

…the air-conditioned Adventure Centure was a definite stop.

Here, cultures were represented at booths in the center of the building…

…each with someone from the respected country to answer questions…

…and with a collection of native items to check out.

Beyond this area and the Adventure Stage…

…medical staff were present to provide health screenings…

…answer the questions of festival goers…

…and provide essential information.

Fortunately for me, the only thing ailing me was a grumbling belly…

…so I remedied that on my way out with a delicious banana fritter…

…and a tasty bahn mi sandwich.

It was just what the doctor ordered!

 

 

*I really went up to spin the wheel so that I could give my card to ABC 6 and get on their TV show to promote Ohio Festivals. The bag was simply an awesome bonus!

 

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