Celebrate Asia! 2010

There are lots of cliche things you can do with your mom for Mother’s Day. Luckily, we have an alternative. May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and the Hyatt Regency at the Jacksonville riverfront will be holding a pan-Asian festival called Celebrate Asia! 2010.
Vida Vongsay, Chair of Celebrate Asia!, tells us that “Attendees will enjoy the beautiful and vibrant colors of Asian attires and decors that will capture the essence of Asian Heritage.” Expect to see several hundred people dressed in traditional Asian garb from many different countries: Filipino Barongs, Saris, Hanbok, Ao Dais, Song Koks, Kmer dresses, Kimonos, Geishas, Thai dancers with long nails and more.
You’ll also find various Asian stars entertaining the crowd. There will also be dragon and lion dancing and live music for ballroom dancing. Celebrity appearances include Be Vang (lead Asian actor from the Oscar winning film Gran Torino), Best Actor Jack Ong from Saving Levi, hip-hop artist praCh, Gumby, reggaeton artist Alex San Dinero along with Miss Asia America.
There will be a cadre of Asian food to choose from. “The evening will offer very traditional cuisine, a lot of which you would not find in a typical Asian restaurant,” says Vongsay. Whole roast pigs, whole roast ducks, papaya salad, sticky rice, oxtails, plus exotic Asian fruits such as rambutans and logans are just some of what you’ll find at this fest.
While it promises to be a fun evening, Vongsay says that she also hopes that “people who attend the event come away with a greater appreciation and understanding of the many, many different cultures that exist within Asia.”