Cleveland, OH – The Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF) is a grassroots festival that highlights Cleveland’s AsiaTown, Diversity, and Asian Culture in Northeast Ohio. It was organized in 2010 by volunteer community leaders to celebrate Cleveland’s diversity and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 CAF but it will be back virtually in May.
The 2021 Cleveland Asian Festival will take place on Saturday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. to noon. The virtual Festival will include performances, highlight businesses in AsiaTown and around the City and provide health resources. Participants will go on a quick virtual tour of the different shopping centers in AsiaTown.
Johnny Wu, one of the founders of CAF says, “CAF is always considered the festival that kicks off summer. We were hoping for this year to be an in-person event, but with Covid’s restrictions and the lack of events permits directions from the City, we are doing it virtually to celebrate our culture and diversity. We also hope to entice viewers to check out AsiaTown and try all the wonderful places we offer once they can.”
The mission of CAF has remained the same over the years:
- Strengthening the identity of AsiaTown and supporting its economic growth
- Educating and promoting Asian culture and traditions
- Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Cleveland’s Diversity
- Uniting Cleveland’s Asian Community
The 2021 CAF comes at a time when there has been a rise in anti-Asian hate and violence. The thousand or so who attended the peaceful #StopAsianHate rally in Cleveland in March will be joined by thousands of others online for this virtual event. The same group produced a popular, well-attended virtual celebration of Lunar New Year earlier this year.
Lisa Wong, president of OCA Greater Cleveland Chapter (OCAGC) and one of the founders of CAF, said “We’re excited about this year’s Cleveland Asian Festival and the opportunity to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May. While this year’s event will be virtual, we hope viewers will learn more about the rich and diverse Asian cultures we have here in Northeast Ohio. We invite everyone to patronize the local Asian businesses and to continue supporting the APA community during these challenging times.”
About the 2021 Cleveland Asian Festival
The Cleveland Asian Festival is an annual celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month in May in Cleveland’s AsiaTown neighborhood. It is a landmark undertaking to unite the community through collaboration and recognition of its culture, diversity, and people. The 2021 Cleveland Asian Festival will be held virtually on Saturday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. on the Cleveland Asian Festival’s YouTube and Facebook pages as well as clevelandasianfestival.org/2021