Here are some events celebrating Asian-Pacific Heritage Month and one that is just celebrating different cultures.
Saturday May 3, 2014 (all around the city)
This event is not actually celebrating Asian-Pacific Heritage month, but celebrates numerous cultures. We are lucky to live in the Washington, DC area where hundreds of countries have embassies in the city. Some of them open their doors for this event. It is free and open to the public. What a better way to celebrate different cultures on a May day. Cultural Tourism DC says more than fifty embassies are participating in 2014. Find out more here.
Parking can be a problem, and some embassies required photo ID to enter. Our family went last year and had a fun time. We downloaded the map and decided where to go. We decided to drive to DC with bikes and a trail-a-bike. We parked near a bike store, since we needed a few things and biked from embassy to embassy. They were crowded and we didn’t get to see as many as we had wanted. Some of the smaller embassies had shorter lines than larger more famous embassies. I remember we went to the Indonesian Embassy and then had Indonesian food from the food truck parked outside the embassy. We also saw the Kyrgyz Embassy. I think we saw one other embassy, but didn’t get into the Korean Embassy due to the long line.
Sunday May 4, 2014 (10:00 am – 6:00 pm) in Downtown Silver Spring
Lots is happening on the first weekend of May. This festival is the first of four events put on by Asia Heritage Foundation. We have been there at least 3 or 4 times. It is a small festival in downtown Silver Spring. It is one stage and a block of vendors, which includes food vendors.
One of the nice things about this festival is that it is small and you can get closeup to the performers. These are some of the same performers which perform two weeks later in the Fiesta Asia Street Festival.
We have biked to this one too. You can bike along Sligo Creek Hiker-Biker Trail and then wind your way to downtown Silver Spring on Ellsworth Dr or Pershing Dr.
Saturday and Sunday May 10-11, 2014 (Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, VA)
The Star Heritage India Festival is the greater Washington metropolitan area’s premier South Asian cultural, arts and commerce festival. The festival is an idea place to spend a special Mother’s Day weekend! I have not been to this one, but I can only imagine it has the best food around at this festival. It costs $5 per person, kids 5 and under free.
Sunday May 11, 2014 (1:00 – 3:00 pm) at the National Zoo.
I have not been to this one, but it seems like a nice thing to do on a May afternoon, which is also Mother’s Day.
But this would be a perfect trip for bikers too. You can bike down (or up) Beach Drive and enter the Zoo on Beach Drive. Sections of Beach Drive are closed on weekend. Here is the information on road closures. Of course you can’t bike IN the zoo, but you can walk your bike or park your bike at the entrances.
Saturday May 17, 2014 (Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC)
This is the big Asian Festival, put on by the Asia Heritage Foundation. I have seen videos but I have not been yet. I think now that my child is older, this is a fair that we must get to this year.
Saturday and Sunday May 17 and 18, 2014 (Thompson’s Boat House, Washington, DC)
We went to this one year on a Sunday. It is along the Potomac River. It was sort of exciting seeing all the dragon boat racers, but more than anything I wanted to try it myself. I understand that on Saturday, they let beginners like me try it. So when I go back I will have to go on a Saturday.
There were people with information about Asian Culture, but I don’t remember there being any or much food to buy. So come prepared with your own picnic.
Friday May 16 thru Sunday May 18, 2014
This three-day festival is the museum’s eighth annual celebration of Hawaiian arts and culture and coincides with Asian Pacific Heritage Month. The festival includes hands-on activities for families, including kapa (bark cloth) stamping, Hawaiian kite-making, and traditional games. Bill Char instructs visitors in making flower and leaf leis, and Keone Nunes demonstrates the art of Hawaiian traditional tattoos. Performances feature kuma hula Patrick Makuakane’s famed halau, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, and an evening concert with Kūpaoa, an award-winning husband-and-wife musical duo. A special exhibition features items donated to the museum by the family of the late Senator Daniel Inouye.
Sunday May 25, 2014
It looks like they have events from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. I have not been to any events at Port Discovery. But this is one over Memorial Day weekend, so if you want to celebrate Asian culture, you can still do it late in the month.
I’m sure there are more festivals to celebrate Asian Heritage. The Freer and Sackler Galleries have family craft events in May . They are on weekend afternoons in May.