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9th Annual Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF)


On the weekend of May 19 and 20, we tabled on behalf of Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLP at the 9th Annual Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF) in AsiaTown, located at the corner of East 27th Street and Payne Avenue.

During opening ceremonies, CAF Executive Committee members Mr. Wayne Wong and Mr. Vi Huynh, as well as Mayor Ron Falconi of Brunswick, reminded us that among the goals of the CAF are to bring diversity and economic growth to AsiaTown as well as to strengthen its cultural identify; celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month; and unite Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood.

The vast majority of the time we spent at the CAF was spent tabling so we missed the various performances that took place on the two stages including the eggroll eating contest early on Saturday evening which was a shame because we understand a TV show host from Japan took part and brought a crew with him to film the proceedings.  However, our good friend Mr. Dan Hansen from "" introduced us to Mr. Jumano Simmons, the renowned yo-yo champion, who was kind enough to demonstrate a few of his moves just for us after performing on stage for so many.

Since this was our third or fourth time tabling at the CAF, we were assigned the same space indoors that we are usually assigned which is right across the way from the "Asia Plaza Pharmacy" where Miss Abigail Dumm and Miss Cheryl Liang sold Chinese Detox Tea and Chinese Lemon Tea just as they did last year. Tabling right next to us were Lt. Thomas R. Pryor and Officer Felton Collier from the "City of Cleveland Department of Public Safety" and nearby was Mr. Michael To and Ms. Gina Timberlake from the "Asia International Community Health Center" as well as Ms. Cathy Vue from "Asia, Inc" who gave away small, tasty bananas to the passers-by.

Right around the corner from us were Ms. Marilyn Missler and Ms. Julie Alley from "Threads of Hope, Inc." which is "a ministry that brings help and hope to families at risk of human trafficking in the Philippines" and we encourage our readers to go to to find out more about what this worthy organization does.

As we tabled, we were approached about obtaining help for people from such countries as Poland and the Philippines on immigration matters. Needless to say we gave away a lot of our pens and letter openers including several of the latter to Mr. Michael Chiu from the "Siam Cafe" on St. Clair Avenue NE who told us the letter openers were widely used by himself and other employees at the restaurant.

Each day we went through several bags of tangerines or "nuggets" because, as Mr. Donald Chan told us, such items signify a wonderful greeting in the Asian culture.

Moreover, we distributed many copies of Ms. Margaret W. Wong's book, "The Immigrant's Way" to people who really wanted to learn about the history of immigration in the United States perhaps this is such a pressing topic in today's political climate.

Lastly, we met some folks who are key players in the planning of a first-time Asian Festival scheduled to take place on July 28th in Omaha, Nebraska. We were flattered to learn that at least part of the reason that they journeyed to Cleveland was to attend the CAF and get some ideas for their own festival which will feature cultural performances, food vendors, retail booths, and free activities just as the CAF does.

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

Kwasi Bediako