Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival Returns to DowntownJun 10, 2021 05:58PM ● By Women's LifeStyle
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – June 4, 2021 – After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Foundation to cancel its 2020 festival, the fifth annual Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival will return on June 11, and June 12. Presented by Old National Bank, the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival celebrates Asian and Pacific Island cultures through a variety of demonstrations, performances and vendors. The free, family-friendly event is open to the public at Calder Plaza from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 11, and Saturday, June 12.
“It been a tough year for a lot of people,” said Ace Marasigan, founder and CEO of the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Foundation. “After being unable to share our event last year, we are very excited to return to downtown and celebrate our rich cultures with the West Michigan community.”
New for 2021, the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Foundation has teamed up with two local breweries to create custom Asian-Pacific-inspired beers, which will be available for purchase at the event.
“We’re teaming up with two of Grand Rapids’ most prominent breweries to demonstrate that our Asian-Pacific community members belong in Beer City,” Marasigan said.
The Mitten Brewing Company’s I Dream of Lychee is a blonde ale brewed with fresh lychee and cardamom.
“We are proud to release I Dream of Lychee in support of our long-time friends at the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Foundation,” said Chris Andrus, co-owner, The Mitten Brewing Company. “This refreshing summer ale will pair perfectly with the festivities at this year’s event.”
GRAPF Mango Passion is an exclusive Founders Brewing Co. wheat ale with notes of mango and passionfruit.
“Founders is honored to team up with the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Foundation on the production process for this special beer. As a member of the AAPI community myself, I'm extremely proud of this undertaking, and we hope our partnership helps our community recognize the challenges faced by Asian Americans and their vital contributions to our community’s history and future,” said Sandy Anaokar, vice president of marketing, Founders Brewing Co.
Nearly a dozen food and drink vendors will be on-site to sell a myriad of authentic Asian-Pacific fare ranging from Halo-Halo, a Filipino shaved ice dessert, teas, pho and street food like meat on a stick.
In addition to traditional Vietnamese lion dances, Taiko drummers, various singing and dance performances, and martial arts demonstrations, this year’s event will also include karaoke and pho eating contests.
Special guest singer-songwriter AJ Rafael will headline the event with two performances on Friday. A singer/songwriter from Moreno Valley, CA with over 1 million YouTube subscribers and 900,000 listeners on Spotify, AJ was recognized as a Fil-Am Game Changer by the City of Los Angeles in 2017. His debut album, Red Roses, charted on Billboard and at number four on the Pop iTunes Charts.
The complete schedule of events will be published on grasianfestival.com.