10 Things You'll Find at Wichita Asian Festival
It’s time again for Wichita Asian Festival. If you’re planning to attend the 36th annual event, here are some things you can expect to see.
Wichita Asian Festival
Oct. 29. 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Century II Convention and Exhibition Halls
Free to attend
At Wichita Asian Festival, you can check out 16 cultural performances on stage at Century II.
The festival has been known to feature acrobatics, martial arts, dance, musical performances and more, highlighting a variety of Asian cultures.
Dragon dancers will also attend this year, rounding out the festival’s performance lineup.
The featured performance at the 2016 festival is Three Trails Taiko, a Japanese drum group from Kansas City.
The group allows guests to experience a musical element of Japanese culture without traveling too far from home.
Bring your appetite, because Wichita Asian Festival serves to bring not only Asian performing arts, but also traditional Asian food to Wichita.
This year, the festival will highlight 41 different Asian food vendors representing a variety of different countries.
Art is a significant part of some Asian cultures, including some special artistic styles like Hana (hand painting), face decoration and more.
There will be 14 art vendors at the festival, and face painting will be available for guests.
A Scholarship Pageant
Each year, the festival hosts a Miss Wichita Asian Festival scholarship pageant, in which young women apply to represent Asian Countries. The pageant's winner, named Miss Wichita Asian Festival, receives a $1,000 scholarship. This year, 11 countries are represented in the pageant. Check out the 2016 contestants:
- Ashruta Acharya - Miss Nepal
- Yume Mashiki - Miss Japan
- Li Wang - Miss China
- Christelle Nassif - Miss Lebanon
- Greeshma Reddy - Miss India
- Sarah Karim - Miss Bangladesh
- Betty Giang - Miss Vietnam
- Fhai Snook - Miss Thailand
- Amber Vanhsy - Miss Laos
- Nikita Hammond - Miss Phillipines
- Dari Lam - Miss Cambodia
A Kids' Corner
Added last year, the Kids' Corner provides children a variety of age-appropriate Asian activities and crafts to keep them entertained. They’ll also be able to meet members of the Wichita Police Department and more! The Kids' Corner was such a large hit last year that it has actually been expanded this year, so expect to see a few upgrades!
“Wichita has a very diverse community and it is important for us to learn about the different cultures represented here,” said Kathy Ewing, President of the Wichita Asian Association.
As the only event where festival-goers can witness a variety of cultural and artistic talents from more than 15 Asian countries all in one place, Wichita Asian Festival provides a great opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences that exist within Asian culture.
Wichita Asian Festival highlights a variety of traditions from Asian culture. In addition, it has grown to become a tradition of its own, right here in Wichita.
“The Wichita Asian Festival has been providing a vehicle for Wichita area residents to experience and enjoy Asian cultural and culinary arts for 36 years; this event is anticipated by thousands of people each year,” Ewing said.
Although it is the Wichita Asian Festival, there seems to be a misconception about who should attend.
“You don't have to be Asian to love this event,” Ewing said. “People from all backgrounds enjoy coming every year.”
Admission is free and the event is open to the public, so anyone is welcome to attend. Last year, the event drew more than 7,000 people to Century II.
A One-of-a-Kind Celebration
“The Wichita Asian Festival is unique; there is nothing like it in a multi-state area. Other Asian festivals are not a nice evening event where you can come and relax. They are during the day, with the performances spread out over more than one stage. Many are outside and subject to the whims of weather,” Ewing said.