Celebrating Diversity at the 2021 Asian Food and Culture Festival

A collection of four images the author took at the festival. From left to right, top to bottom: representatives of Yi’s Dance and Fine Arts from the parade, a blow-up balloon of a festive lion, some lamb kabobs from China Taste, and Rainbow Bridge Culture Center’s art display.

By Angelina Hu

The Asian Food and Culture Festival was held for the second time ever on Sunday, September 19th at Canalside in downtown Buffalo from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. A variety of vendors of various Asian cuisines, art displays, as well as performances and guest speakers were present.

The event was hosted by the Western New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce (WNY-CCC), but Indian, Thai, Japanese, and Korean culture were all also celebrated. Vendors included China Taste, Taste of Siam, Hyderabad Biryani, K-cafe, Fuji Grill, and more. Cultural activities like an origami booth and Rainbow Bridge Culture Center’s art display were also available. In addition, many of the sponsors, like HSBC and Rich’s, had tables. HSBC’s robot, Pepper, was especially popular with youths.

Performances were held throughout the day both on and off the stage behind the vendors. Music, dance, and martial arts shows were displayed in the morning, and at 2:30 pm, a parade was held in which an assembly of people representing the various businesses hosting the event, such as the Confucius Institute, walked through the venue and finished in front of the stage, at which point a series of host and guest speakers spoke. Jasmine Chen, executive consultant of the WNY-CCC, spoke, as well as District Two chairwoman April Baskin, District five chairwoman Jeanne Vinal, Mayor Byron Brown, and more. Representatives for big sponsors like HSBC and NFJC WNY also spoke on the collaboration.

The festival was a resounding success and is expected to be hosted again in 2022. It was free of charge to enter this year (you need only pay for the food!) and may still be next time. Please join in on this celebration of the Asian American Pacific Islander community in Buffalo!


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