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Where EAST meets the Northwest

34TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION. The Eugene/Springfield Asian Council is ringing in the Year of the Pig with its 34th annual Oregon Asian Celebration. The event features entertainment and dance (pictured), an Asian food court, cooking demonstrations, and more. (Photos/Matt Koenig, courtesy of the Oregon Asian Celebration)

From The Asian Reporter, V29, #03 (February 4, 2019), pages 10 & 14.

Oregon Asian Celebration to hold its 34th annual event highlighting Asian cultural heritage

The Eugene/Springfield Asian Council is ringing in the Year of the Pig with its 34th annual Oregon Asian Celebration. The event, themed "Year of the Pig — Get Spirited Away," takes place February 16 and 17 at the Lane Events Center. Doors open at 10:00am on both days with a roaring welcome of Chinese lion dancers and taiko drummers to usher in a day of good fortune and ward off evil spirits.

The weekend features colorful nonstop entertainment and dance on multiple stages, a fine arts exhibit, an Asian food court, craft and cooking demonstrations, a marketplace of more than 60 vendors, children’s activities, carnival games for kids, demonstrations of various martial arts, and Kumoricon and cosplay for teens.

For young attendees, the festival offers a "Treasure Map to Adventure," which allows children to ask questions and learn about the diversity of Asian cultures. Treasure seekers visit various locations throughout the festival to have their map stamped. Once the map is completely stamped, children can turn it in at the Asian American Foundation of Oregon booth to collect their treasure.

Young people may also visit the Youth Room to make their own artistic creations such as masks, origami, fish prints, and Tibetan woodblock prints. Youth also may participate in various activities presented by the International School of Modern Technology and enjoy a Japanese Carnival hosted by the Yujin Gakuen Public Japanese Immersion School.

In the crafts demonstration area, festival-goers can watch artist Aimee Yogi spin local plant fibers using a Mahatma Gandhi-style bamboo spinning wheel in a box, Barbara Setsu demonstrate traditional Japanese bookbinding, and more.

When the aroma of Asian delicacies call, hungry attendees can head over to the Asian Food Court where vendors offering popular cuisine from Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, India, Thailand, and the Philippines will sell spring rolls, chara masala, veggie samosas, chicken adobo, bulgogi, kimbab, potstickers, Pad Thai, and more. Demonstrations of more than a dozen martial art schools are available for viewing while devouring the tempting options at the food court.

For those who would like to learn how to make easy and delicious Asian food at home, there are demonstrations of favorite Asian dishes presented by local families as well as restaurants. This year’s cooking demonstrations represent recipes originating from the Philippines, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, and India.

To reflect the current national dialogue on immigration, the Oregon Asian Celebration is again featuring the Asian Heritage & Justice exhibit, "Our Stories: Immigrants of America." The display, created by Eugene photographer Melissa "Mimi" Nolledo with support from the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, includes new photos of immigrant community members accompanied by life stories of what it is like to be an immigrant in Oregon and America.

"Now more than ever, we need to share our stories," Nolledo said. "Through these photographic essays, may we continue to build bridges of hope, strength, and courage to inspire the people around us to accept and understand that despite our differences, we are connected and similar in so many ways — our dreams, our aspirations, our love for country and humankind."

Festival admission is $6 for one day or $10 for a two-day ticket. Youth age 12 and younger are admitted free. Students age 13 and older (including college students) may obtain free admission by visiting an Oregon Community Credit Union (OCCU) branch and showing their current student identification. Advance adult tickets may be purchased online at <www.asiancelebration.org>.

The Oregon Asian Celebration takes place February 16 and 17 at the Lane Events Center, located at 796 West 13th Avenue in Eugene, Oregon. Hours are 10:00am to 7:00pm on Saturday and 10:00am to 6:00pm on Sunday. To learn more, or to obtain a complete schedule of activities, call (541) 682-4292 or visit <www.asiancelebration.org>.

* * *

Oregon Asian Celebration Main Stage

* Performances subject to change

Saturday, February 16:

10:00am: Japanese taiko drumming

10:15am: Chinese lion dance

10:30am: Welcoming remarks

10:50am: Japanese song & dance

Noon: Korean children’s fan dance

12:30pm: Chinese song & dance

1:00pm: Hawai‘ian & contemporary ukulele

1:30pm: Japanese koto

2:00pm: Chinese traditional song & dance

2:30pm: Japanese taiko drumming

3:00pm: Hawai‘ian hula & music

4:00pm: Japanese taiko drumming

4:45pm: Hawai‘ian hula & music

5:00pm: Traditional Balinese gambuh dance

6:00pm: Minidoka Swing Band

Sunday, February 16:

10:00am: Japanese taiko drumming

10:20am: Welcoming remarks

10:45am: Chinese lion dance

11:00am: Japanese koto

11:30am: Indonesian dance & music

1:00pm: Middle East inspired dance & music

1:30pm: Japanese taiko drumming

2:00pm: Filipino dance & music

2:25pm: South Indian classical dance

2:40pm: Indonesian traditional dance & music

3:10pm: Middle Eastern dance

3:50pm: Nepalese traditional dance & music

4:15pm: Japanese taiko drumming & shakuhachi

4:30pm: Northern India dance & music

* * *

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