CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years, but the annual Cleveland Asian Festival is coming up again this weekend.
The co-founders sat down with our Harry Boomer on CW 43 Focus to talk about it.
“AsiaTown is a very diverse neighborhood. We have so many different groups living in that neighborhood,” Johnny Wu said.
Wu, one of the co-founders, said much of that diversity will be on display May 18 and May 19 during the festival and everyone is invited, no matter their ethnicity.
“We block off the whole neighborhood and we have two stages, free health screening and education inside Asia Plaza," Wu added. "Outside, we have over 100 different vendors. We have 20 something food vendors in different locations. All of this is a way to promote the Asian culture.”
The festival will include a dance competition, martial arts demonstrations, a fashion show and a Lolly the Trolley tour of AsiaTown, free admission, free parking at various lots at E. 24th Street and Payne Avenue with free shuttle bus rides to and from the festival.
“Lots of food. I know that’s one of the great things. You walk through there and you smell all the food. You want to eat here, eat there and eat over there. By the time you leave, you’re full and that’s part of the draw, isn’t it? Yes, we have many different Asian ethnicities represented in the our food court. We also have a food truck lane, even restaurants inside Asia Plaza that people should try,” says Lisa Wong.
Wong is another one of the event’s co-founders.
“We are a family friendly event. We say no pets because the crowds are very difficult and hard on the animals. We’ve had people bring animals they should bring in public. The area is very tight. When you have 30, 40, 50,000 people, it becomes a very chaotic environment. Even though everybody is very friendly, it may spook the dog a little bit,” says Wong.
Working service animals are okay. The festival will take place on East 27th Street, East 30th and on Payne Avenue.
Watch this entire CW 43 Focus show with host Harry Boomer and his guests on demand on our Roku and Amazon Fire TV apps, online at Cleveland19.com and every Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. on CW 43.