Celebrate AAPI Month in Cleveland with events, places, food

CLEVELAND – May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Cleveland offers a wealth of events, attractions, activities and food to celebrate and honor the influence and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, both in Cleveland and across the country.

News 5 has partnered with Destination Cleveland to highlight some of the ways the city is celebrating AAPI Month.

Cleveland Asian Festival

Courtesy of Destination Cleveland.

Cleveland Asian Festival.

The Cleveland Asian Festival takes place May 21-22 from 11am-7pm in the heart of the AsiaTown neighborhood

Click here for a detailed preview of all of the live shows, cultural performances, food, drink, shopping and other activities that will be part of this year’s annual event.

You can also watch the event on Destination Cleveland’s website here.

Pacific Paradise Hula Classes

Offered on Fridays and Saturdays and at the Cleveland Dance Center in Strongsville for $35 per month by Pacific Parade Entertainment. The local Hula, Tahitian and Polynesian dance group teaches these dance techniques to adults and children.

More information and a course schedule can be found here.

AsiaTown Walking Tour

Stroll through AsiaTown with a self-guided, two-mile tour that takes about 50 minutes. Learn about the history and current offerings of this colorful and flavorful part of Cleveland.

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Target Cleveland

Map of AsiaTown Walking Tour.

Do the tour here.

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo by Kaylyn Hlavaty.

Photo by Kaylyn Hlavaty.

The Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo by Kaylyn Hlavaty.

Three exhibits celebrating Asian culture and history are currently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art:

Japan’s Floating World features paintings, prints and decorative arts from Japan in the mid-17th and 18th centuries.

The Martial Art of India exhibition includes battle scenes and portraits of soldiers.

“Creating Urgency: Modern and Contemporary Korean Art” features selected works by contemporary Korean artists who demonstrate their “expressive language for defining diasporic artistic identities”.

The museum at 11150 East Blvd. is always free. Click here for opening hours and more details to plan your visit.

Cleveland Cultural Gardens

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Mike Brookbank

Cleveland Cultural Gardens

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens, located on East Boulevard and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, give residents a first-hand look at the history and horticulture of the ethnic groups that make up Cleveland’s global community, including:

  • A gift from the city of Taipei and modeled after the Chinese Imperial Palace in Beijing, the Chinese Garden features two dragons and a statue of Confucius.
  • The Indian Garden, which includes a statue of Mahatma Gandhi surrounded by six pillars representing various aspects of Indian heritage.
  • The Vietnamese Garden, celebrating the country’s 4,000-year-old culture, with a statue of Our Lady carved by artists in Vietnam and a small bamboo garden.

Don’t forget the food!

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Courtesy of Destination Cleveland.

Cleveland Asian Festival.

A celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander culture must include the incredible variety of cuisines available not only in AsiaTown or during the Cleveland Asian Festival, but in neighborhoods throughout Cleveland.

AsiaTown favorites highlighted by Destination Cleveland include dim sum at Li Wah, award-winning bowls at Superior Pho and soup dumplings at LJ Shanghai.

Outside of AsiaTown, Himalayan Restaurant in West Park offers a taste of Nepalese and Indian cuisine, Phnom Penh in Ohio City offers Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine, Banana Blossom Thai Cuisine nearby offers a wide range of lunch dishes and home-made curries, Dang Good Foods in Lakewood offers a taste of Singapore, and Thai Thai brings Bangkok street food to Lakewood.

That’s just the beginning—check out more restaurants and attractions in Destination Cleveland’s AAPI Month Guide here.

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