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Downtown hosting Asian-Pacific Festival

May 31, 2018
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Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival
The Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival aims to enrich Grand Rapids’ "cultural vibrancy." Photo via fb.com

A festival celebrating Asian culture will return to downtown Grand Rapids next week.

The second-annual Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival, presented by the West Michigan Asian American Association, or WMAAA, and Old National Bank, will be held on June 9 at Rosa Parks Circle, at 135 Monroe Center St. NW, from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The festival is part of GR Asian-Pacific Week, which runs June 4-9 and features events centered around Asian-Pacific businesses in the Grand Rapids area.

GR-Asian Pacific Week is sponsored by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and Old National Bank.

The Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival is meant to “inspire, educate and celebrate our Asian roots,” as well as connect people and “provide resources and ways to help each other,” according to organizers.

Festival lineup

— Food vendors offering dishes from a variety of Asian countries
— Lion dances
— Martial art demonstrations
— Fashion show featuring traditional attire
— Traditional and modern performances, including "Naruto" singers from New York
— Children’s activities, including sidewalk drawings and paper dragon making
— Luau hour
— India immersion hour
— Appearance by three sumo wrestling champions, Yama, Byamba and Takeshi
— Dance and party with Ace Marasigan DJ Entertainment and DJ Bobolai to close the night
— Beer tent selling local and Asian beer

West Michigan Asian American Association

WMAAA is a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit that seeks to build a collaborative, active and committed Asian-American community in West Michigan. Its focus areas include health care, education and civic engagement.

WMAAA offers various programs and activities: scholarships; networking events; presentations and performances that promote appreciation for Asian culture; speaking engagements that promote greater awareness of health care issues affecting the Asian-American community; a patient navigation system; and more.

Old National Bank

Old National Bank, founded in 1834, is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana and has $17.5 billion in assets.

Its footprint includes Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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