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Celebrate AAPI Month in Cleveland with events, food, places and experiences throughout May

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Posted at 1:17 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 13:17:17-04

CLEVELAND — May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Cleveland has a wealth of events, places to go, things to do, and food to eat to celebrate and honor the influence and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Americans, both in Cleveland and across the country.

News 5 has partnered with Destination Cleveland to highlight some of the ways to celebrate AAPI month in the city.

Cleveland Asian Festival

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Cleveland Asian Festival.

The Cleveland Asian Festival takes place in the heart of the AsiaTown district from May 21 to 22, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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

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

Pacific Paradise Hula Classes

Offered Fridays and Saturdays and the Cleveland Dance Center in Strongsville for $35 a 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 class schedule available here.

AsiaTown Walking Tour

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

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Map of the AsiaTown Walking Tour.

Take the tour here.

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo by Kaylyn Hlavaty.
The Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo by Kaylyn Hlavaty.

There are three exhibits currently on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art celebrating Asian culture and history:

Japan’s Floating World features paintings, prints and decorative arts from mid-1700s and 1800s Japan.

The Martial Art of India exhibit includes scenes of battles and portraits of soldiers.

Creating Urgency: Modern and Contemporary Korean Art has on display selected works from contemporary Korean artists exhibiting their “expressive language of defining diasporic artistic identities.”

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

Cleveland Cultural Gardens

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Cleveland Cultural Gardens

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

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

Don’t forget about the food!

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Cleveland Asian Festival.

A celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander culture has to include the incredible variety of cuisine available, not just in AsiaTown or during the Cleveland Asian Festival, but in neighborhoods across Cleveland.

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

Outside AsiaTown, Himalayan Restaurant in West Park offers a taste of Nepali and Indian food, Phnom Penh in Ohio city features Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine, Banana Blossom Thai Cuisine nearby has a large menu of lunch specials and build-your-own-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 even more places to eat and things to go on Destination Cleveland’s AAPI Month guide here.

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