- This event has passed.
Asian Celebration 2020!
February 15 @ 10:00 am - February 16 @ 7:00 pm
35th Annual Oregon Asian Celebration
to feature Asian cultural diversity
Eugene, OR – Bring your friends and family to enjoy a colorful banquet of sights and sounds at
this year’s Oregon Asian Celebration. The Pacific Northwest’s largest Asian cultural event is
planned for February 15 and 16 at the Lane Events Center in Eugene OR. This year also
marks the festival’s 35 th anniversary and honors the Chinese Lunar “Year of the Rat” with two
full days of nonstop activities for all ages.
The doors open both days at 10:00 a.m., to the roaring welcome of the Chinese Lion Dancers
and taiko drumming to usher in a day of good fortune and to ward off evil spirits. Both days
feature colorful entertainment and cultural dances on three different stages; demonstrations of
crafts, martial arts, and cooking Asian cuisine; a fine arts and Asian Heritage exhibit,
Marketplace and Asian food vendors, and youth activities in several locations at the Events
Center. This year’s event also features the return of the STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math) room featuring King Pong and other technology activities.
If you love karaoke, come and cheer on the finalists of the Asian Celebration karaoke
competition; a new event to celebrate the festival’s 35 th anniversary. To become a finalist,
Whirled Pies Pizzeria is hosting a preliminary karaoke competition on February 1 st from 7:00 to
9:00 p.m. to select singers (individuals or groups) to perform on Sunday at the Food Court
stage. Karaoke (pronounced: kah-rah-oh-kay) originated in Japan in the 1970’s with groups of
people singing over the instrumentals of popular music. In America, it has become
commonplace at parties, bars, and social gatherings. Judges and audience participation will
determine the winners. The Karaoke competition closes the festival on Sunday, so enjoy Asian
food court cuisine, and create a cheering section for your favorite singers.
Performances also take place on the Main Stage, Atrium stage, and Food Court stage
throughout the day on both days representing a diversity of Asian and Asian American
heritages by performing groups throughout Oregon. Scheduled performances feature
traditional cultural dances, taiko drumming, singing, and children’s performances.
While there are nonstop activities going on throughout the day, some interesting destinations
might include stops at the Atrium Stage on Saturday to see the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of
Art dragon puppet show, Children’s Chinese dance, and the Asian Culture Fashion Show
featuring traditional attire from several regions of Asia.
Learning opportunities for all ages resonate at the festival. David Tam, director of the festival,
says a major goal of the event is to create and offer a family-festive atmosphere for visitors to
celebrate and learn about the rich diversity of Asian and Asian American cultural heritage.
Many activities, both traditional and new, will fill the entire Lane Events Center complex.
Over in the crafts demonstration area in the Exhibit Hall, watch fiber artist Aimee Yogi spin
local plant fibers using a Mahatma Gandhi-style Bamboo spinning wheel in a box, or Barbara
Setsu demonstrate traditional Japanese bookbinding. Hands-on cultural craft activities for
children will feature opportunities to make cat ears with Kumoricon, origami, fish prints with the
Jordan Schnitzer Museum, and various activities provided by the Elrod Center and Maude
Kerns Art Center.
Children can also pick up a Treasure Map at the festival entrance and visit various exhibits
and vendors throughout the Events Center to learn about Asian culture. Vendors will stamp
their map and when the map is fully stamped, children can turn it in at the Asian American
Foundation of Oregon booth for their souvenir treasure. On their treasure map journey,
children can by the Japanese Carnival hosted by the Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion
School Parent Teacher Organization.
Older youth and adults can stop by the STEM room to enjoy the festival’s Bitforest Arcade,
Kumoricon, and CoPlay. The Bitforest Arcade, is presented by the local game developer
Bitforest. A special feature will be KING-PONG, a larger than life Pong video game with giant
controllers, and a huge screen.
To reflect the current national dialogue on immigration, the festival welcomes the return of the
Asian Heritage and Justice award-winning exhibit entitled “Our Stories: Immigrants of America”
featuring new photos and life stories by Eugene photographer Melissa “Mimi” Nolledo.
“Through these photographic essays, my hope is that we continue to create awareness and a
cultural sense of our shared and linked fates,” says Nolledo.
If the aroma of Asian delicacies are calling, head to the Asian Food court in the Performance
Hall where food vendors representing popular cuisine of Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam,
Philippines, India, and Thailand offer tempting treats of all kinds from pad Thai and spring rolls,
to chana masala and veggie samosas, to chicken adobo, bulgogi and kimbab and potstickers.
Take your Asian meal to the seating area in front of the Food Court stage and enjoy watching
the most diverse range of martial arts ever held under one roof. The festival features
demonstrations of more than a dozen martial art schools in the area.
If you want to learn how to make easy and delicious Asian food at home, don’t miss the
demonstrations of favorite Asian dishes by local families (parents and children) and
restaurants. Foods will be simple, and quick to prepare. The cooking demonstrations represent
foods of the Philippines, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, and India. At 1:00 p.m.
on Sunday, featured chef Taro from Akira Restaurant will demonstrate Japanese delicacies.
During a break in the cooking demos, festival-attendees can participate in the event’s noodle-
canoodle competition where partners’ frantically feed a bowl of ramen noodles with extra long
chopsticks to each other. The noodle contest is at noon booth days.
*Festival admission is $6 for one day or $10 for a 2-day ticket; and free for ages 12 & under.
For express entry, advance tickets can be purchased online at http://www.AsianCelebration.org .
Admission is also accepted at the door at the event.
Activities and performances are being confirmed daily, so check the event program guide
online for updates at http://www.AsianCelebration.org . The program schedule will also be available
at the door.