festival 2012

April 1, 2017 (10:30-4:00)


Join Us at the 2017 Alabama Asian Cultures & Food Festival


The 2017 Alabama Asian Cultures and Food Festival will be held this year on Saturday, April 1, 2017, from 10:30 am (opening ceremony) until 4:00 pm at the Zamora Shrine Temple (3521 Ratliff Road, Irondale, AL 35210).  Come and support the Foundation and its goals through your attendance and purchases, meet people from different cultures, learn to understand cultural similarities and differences, sample many kinds of Asian food, observe a colorful origami peace mobile that was donated to the Foundation as well as an exhibit of the earliest known color photographs taken along the Burma Road in China, and have a lot of fun!  Come early and stay until the grand finale.

This year’s Festival Opening Ceremony will feature the dragon dance group from the Confucius Institute at Auburn University at Montgomery, which will lead early guests into the Great Hall as well as a procession of invited dignitaries.  After the dragon dances, a chorus of children sings, and the dignitaries bring greetings, Dr. Helen Kim, President of the Foundation, will open the Festival.  Regular activities will begin and the special photographic exhibition will open at 11:00 am.

Again, by popular demand, we have members of Matsuriza, internationally known Japanese Taiko drummers from Epcot Center at Walt Disney World, performing. Longtime local supporters, Natyananda, Notinee, and Jasmine Dance Ensemble, will again perform, as will the very colorful and skilled Korean fan dance and percussion group, Mugonghwa, from Fort Walton, Florida.  We will also welcome back Aastha’s Bollywood Dance group, Darry’s Chinese Yoga Studio Dancers, and Kathy Ren’s Tai Chi Fans of BirminghamDeborah Mauldin and Entourage will present a beautiful excerpt from an original Butoh work that will mesmerize all attending! 

A “must see” for everyone this year will be the exhibition of a collection of the earliest known color photographs taken in China by a WW II Army doctor stationed along the Burma Road between 1943-1945. This “Visions of China” presentation will give you an insight into China and its people during the darkest days of the war, when the Burma Road and the Flying Tigers were the main lifeline to the Allies.  Veterans of all ages should see this collection of photos recently donated to our Foundation.

Another special presentation will be given by Samantha Cheng, a writer, producer, director from the Washington D.C. area, who has done extensive research into the immigration of Chinese to the South in the 19th and 20th century.  Her “Honor and Duty: the Mississippi Delta Chinese” will provide an insight into the history of Chinese communities that were American first, while retaining their own cultural identity, and formed bridges to other communities in a segregated South.  And, her video, “Dalip Singh Saund: His Life, His Legacy” will highlight the first Asian elected to the U.S. Congress.

There will be more Asian countries represented by community cultural booths whose mission is to share distinctive and fun aspects of their cultures with you.  Children can get their Asian travel passports stamped at each booth visited, where this year’s theme is “Play across Asia:  Unique Games and Toys”. 

Again, “kids” from 6 to 99 can take a “journey in the Asia-Pacific” on a giant map from National Geographic.  Guided by experienced master teacher, Bo Garrett, they will learn how vast and diverse the Pacific Ocean and the Asian shores it touches are, while doing fun activities!  In keeping with the emphasis on children this year, the traditional “Asian fashion show” will only have children modeling authentic cloths from different lands. The colorful display of 20,000 origami cranes that were donated as a peace mobile to the Foundation will again be prominently displayed. Photographers be prepared.

Please take time to browse and support the Foundation and its partnering vendor’s by purchasing a myriad of items offered for sale at the Festival Bazaar Tables.  An ATM is available as are many more credit card stations this year to make purchase easy!  And note the nonprofit display tables, as many of these groups have missions or provide worthwhile services you may wish to support also. 

Of course FOOD is a major part of this Festival.  Again, there will be cuisine offered from at least eight different Asian countries.  Sample as you will, and savor the aromas, flavors, and textures of the foods offered. Be daring, try new things and discover new favorites.  This year you will again have the freedom to purchase individual servings of any dish you wish from any food booth, as there will be no pre-prepared plates.  Only tokens will be used to purchase food to accelerate service.  Pots of Jasmine tea, sodas, and bottled water will be available also.  Food prices remain the same as last year!  The “Food Court” opens at 11:15 am and closes at 3:30 p.m. or until food runs out, so don’t be late.

Admission is the same this year:  $8.00 for adults 18 and over; $5.00 for teens (13-17) and college students, active military, and veterans with ID; and free for children 12 and under.  Special discounts available for groups of 10 or more who register early: Call 205-903-5569 before March 29 to qualify.  Food service will be available from 11:15 am - 3:30 pm.  A select group of old and new restaurants and organizations representing many Asian cuisines will have signature dishes that will only be sold a la carte.  $4.00 food tokens and $2.00 green drink only tickets will be offered at the Admissions area.  No cash will be accepted for food, only tokens: one token for one food serving.  You may be as adventurous as you like, sampling dishes you have never tried before. Soft drinks and bottled water will be available for $2.00 (one green ticket) each, and a teapot of hot Jasmine tea with four cups is $4.00 (two green tickets).

***Avoid long lines by reserving an Adult Express Packet that includes regular adult admission for one, 3 tokens, and a green drink ticket for $20.00 (savings of $2.00).  The Teen, Veteran, College Student Packet will include regular admission for one, 3 tokens, and a green drink ticket for $17.00 (savings of $2.00).  Call 205-903-5569 before March 29 to reserve as many packets as you wish.  Pay for and pick up packets at EXPRESS table only.



Festival Details at a Glance:

Location: Zamora Shrine Temple  [3521 Ratliff Road, Irondale, AL 35210 – accessible from I-459 via Grants Mill Road exit (27) or I-20 via Old Leeds Road exit (135)]

Hours: 10:30 am (opening ceremony) until 4:00 pm. 
Ages: All Ages - Kid and Family Friendly
Admission: $8.00 for adults; $5.00 teens, and active duty military, veterans, and college students with ID; free for children 12 and under.

For more information go to:
http://www.alabamaasiancultures.org or www.facebook.com/asiancultures
Or contact Bob Davis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 205.903.5569 or Helen Kim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 205-807-1310