SAVANNAH — From mehndi to mandu, the 14th Annual Savannah Asian Festival brings an entire continent of unique cultures, cuisines, performances and fun to the Savannah Civic Center on June 6 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The festival continues to grow in popularity every year, and has become one of the largest celebrations of Asian culture in the southeastern U.S. The City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs and hundreds of Asian-American volunteers work together to present this one-day, whirlwind tour of the East under one roof.
The festival features a full day of free live stage performances including the mesmerizing Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery; the thunderous Matsuriza Taiko Drummers, from Orlando, Fla.; and a dazzling display of power with the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu Lion Dancers from Atlanta.
In addition, there will be an array of other live musical, martial arts and dance performances on stage from performing groups representing Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Polynesia, Thailand and India.
Bring a wallet and an appetite to savor a world of exotic cuisines from across the continent. Local favorites such as Taste of India, Sushi Zen and Chen’s Chinese Restaurant will be presenting a delectable selection of regional favorites from the Philippines, Japan, India, China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East.
Browse the Cultural Marketplace to learn more about each country and discover the traditional arts, crafts, fashions and treasures unique to each nation. From “Ming-shard” jewelry to Chinese calligraphy sets, hand-beaded clothing from Nepal and dupattas from Pakistan, one would need to travel the entire continent to discover the treasures that can be found in the festival’s Cultural Marketplace.
Free workshops and children’s activities will provide a hands-on learning experience. The Islamic Center of Savannah and the Japanese School of Savannah will present children’s crafts and games. Attendees can visit the workshop room to learn about Chinese painting with artist Ching Levy, discover Asian poetry presented by the Asian American Artists Initiative or partake in a Pakistani Tea Ceremony presented by the Islamic Center of Savannah.
The Savannah Asian Festival is free and open to the public. The festival takes place June 6, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Savannah Civic Center, located at Montgomery and Liberty Streets. Parking at the Civic Center is free or $1 for the day at the Liberty Garage across the street. There is a charge for food and purchases from the Cultural Marketplace.
For information, call (912) 651-6417 or visit www.savannahga.gov/arts .