Asian-Pacific Festival returns to Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WOOD) – The fifth annual Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival drew hundreds of people to Calder Plaza on Saturday.

The unique presentations and gastronomic offers were very well received by the visitors.

“It’s amazing to see people come and support us,” said Phong Nguyen of Mama Hang’s, a Vietnamese grocery seller. “We are very happy to share our customs and our food with people.”

Mama Hang’s staff attracted many customers with their traditional sandwiches, salads and various skewers.

“Mama’s Banh Mi and Mama’s pork skewer are very popular,” said Nguyen.

Your goal is to open a restaurant in the future.

Over at the Filipino grocer Adobo Boy, their halo-halo – a popular dessert – was the main attraction.

Gallery: The Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival 2021

“Halo-halo means mix-mix,” said Chris Cater, who helped his aunt Jackie Marasigan serve the meal. “Lots of different ingredients. Jackfruit, red beans, some coconut jelly and mix it with shaved ice, vanilla ice cream, extra toppings on top. “

Various artists entertained the crowd, including The Lotus Boys performing their lion dance.

“We show our culture to different aspects of the world,” said John Phan of The Lotus Boys. “We are and we believe. This is an ancient dance that has served for good fortune, luck and prosperity for thousands of years. “

This year’s event featured artists from West Michigan and other parts of the United States

Artists from Houston and California made their way to Grand Rapids for the festival.

Miyuki Matsunaga is a Geta dance art performance artist from the Los Angeles area. She describes her style as a modernized version of traditional Japanese performance art.

“Completely different, far from the traditional,” says Matsunaga. “I do contemporary. But I use traditional tools. “

In her performance, Matsunaga paints symbols that express important elements of Japanese culture, such as earth, wind and fire.

“I put the calligraphy for these words and dance with these pictures,” said Matsunaga. “Then I want the audience to feel the Japanese way of nature, art or beauty.”

The festival organizers hope the event can attract more artists from outside of West Michigan in the future.

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