The fun and excitement of the annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration is just around the corner and with a month to go, approximately 200 community members and local elected officials gathered to kick off the street fair on Apr. 17 at the stylish Soma Grand Sales Center in San Francisco.
This year the fair will take place Saturday, May 19 on Howard and 5th streets from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in the evening there will be an after-party at the nightclub Suede. The location of the street fair rotates each year to showcase the different Asian enclaves in San Francisco.
"From the 1920s up to the present, and especially during the 50s and 60s, SoMa has been the entry point of Filipinos in San Francisco. It is home to many of our cultural centers, restaurants, seniors/veterans facilities, schools and churches," said College Board member Rodel Rodis. "We warmly welcome AsianWeek Foundation’s choice of SoMa as the site of its third annual fair as it celebrates Filipino culture and heritage which it integrates within the broader Asian American community."
Guests munched on delicious dim sum provided by Yank Sing Restaurant and sipped cocktails supplied by Takara Sake, who created a special drink, Tokyo-politan, similar to a Cosmopolitan, for the event. Instead of triple sec, HANA lychee-flavored sake is used.
Steve Nakajo, the executive director of Kimochi, Inc, emceed the kickoff while Ed Villa Carlos of EVCEntertainment provided music.
Among the exciting activities planned for this year’s fair are a karaoke competition with prizes, an anime
pavilion, manga, trading cards, video games and J-cars. There will also be Muay Thai Kickboxing, arts and crafts booths, food and live entertainment ranging in styles from Asian reggae, Korean dance and J-rock.
Asian Pacific American students will be recognized for achievement in visual and performing arts and a school raffle and fundraiser benefiting the San Francisco public school district will be held.
Attendees will once again be offered free Hepatitis B screenings sponsored by the San Francisco Hepatitis B Free campaign. This lifesaving campaign will make screenings available to all San Franciscans and is tied into Assembly Bill 158, authored by Assemblymember Fiona Ma.
"Health outreach is one of our important features of our street fair," said Ted Fang of the AsianWeek Foundation. "Hep B is the greatest health disparity between Asians and non Asians."
"The Street Celebration is a platform for all things Asian Pacific American," he added.
AHSC presenting sponsors are Comcast and California Pacific Medical Center.
"Soma Grand is pleased to host this event and participate in highlighting the diversity of our neighborhood. This South of Market area is becoming a vibrant new community here in San Francisco and Soma Grand is proud to be a member," said Alexis Wong, President/CEO of AGI Capital and developer of Soma Grand.