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7th Annual Cleveland Asian Festival in AsiaTown

On Saturday and Sunday, May 21st and May 22nd, we tabled at the 7th Annual Cleveland Asian Festival in AsiaTown near East 27th Street and Payne Avenue in Cleveland. We are pleased to report that Margaret W. Wong and Associates was an Associate Sponsor of this event.

IMG_1428We shared our table with representatives from the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health at CWRU who were Prof. Todd F. Fennimore, Mr. Ashutosh K. Sheth, Ms. Mariah Bower and Ms. Zhengyi Chen who performed blood pressure tests, handed out booklets for keeping track of one's medications, and answered questions about their organization which, according to the literature, "seeks to promote environmental health through honed emphasis in medical education, clinical care, research and public health programs."

Our table was located right around the corner from that of the Ariel Center and the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. We understand that for this festival there were 100 exhibitors and 26 Asian food and drink vendors. Ms. Lisa Wong, from the festival's executive committee, said that when this festival started in 2010 it was only for 1 day but it was attended by 10,000 people. Last year in 2015 it was attended by 40,000 people and this year the goal is 50,000 attendees. From the looks of things at the end of the day on Sunday, the goal was met.IMG_1421

According to Mayor Ron Falconi (the first Filipino mayor elected in Ohio) of the City of Brunswick, it is one of the fastest growing festivals in the region. Mayor Falconi spoke for a moment at the opening ceremonies and said that "diversity is our strength."

Also speaking at the opening ceremonies was Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland. His office issued a letter of support that appeared in the souvenir program which read, in part, that "one of our community's greatest assets is our diversity. The Cleveland Asian Festival offers us an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy Cleveland's rich Asian heritage-including world-class musicians, dancers, performers, artists and authentic Asian food. Our vibrant and growing AsiaTown neighborhood serves as the backdrop for the event and as a stage for Cleveland's warm hospitality and cultural diversity."

Inside of the souvenir booklet there were 3 pages devoted to the origins of Asian Pacific Heritage Month which iIMG_1422ncluded a timeline of important happenings concerning the Asian immigrants and their assimilation into American society.

There were also proclamations from political leaders such as Ohio State Representative Bill Patmon (10th District) which in part read that "since its inception, the Cleveland Asian Festival has earned a level of esteem and appreciation of which its founder, organizers, volunteers and participants can be justifiably proud and we applaud everyone associated with this significant event. We are certain that as this worthy endeavor maintains its dedication to quality, it will continue to grow and proper and will follow in the tradition of excellence that has long been its landmark."

As we tabled on Saturday and Sunday, a good number of people stopped by to chat with us including Ms. Siu Yan Scott, Mr. George Burke, and Mr. Ed Hom who wereIMG_1426 working at the festival in various capacities. Other people we knew who came over to say hello included Sister Rita Mary Harwood, Ms. May Chen (an old friend of Ms. Margaret W. Wong), Ms. Toni Carlo, Mr. Bharat Kumar (who urged us to attend the India Festival in September), and Dr. Julio Aponte (who urged us to attend the 35th anniversary of the IRTF in June).

In addition to the people that we knew, several people stopped by seeking information about the services that Margaret W. Wong and Associates has to offer including a parent who adopted his/her child from another country and now needs help with the citizenship process, a man who would like to bring his fiance here from China, and a person who need help obtaining a green card.

And there was an Asian couple who stopped in front of our table when they noticed Ms. Margaret W. Wong's photo on our banner. They pointed at the banner and said almost in unison, "oh, it's Ms. Wong!!!

 

By:

Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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