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ASIA FEST returns to Salida for a month-long celebration

There’s no need to travel to the Front Range for the annual celebration of Asian culture. Locals and visitors look forward to the color, pageantry and chance this year to learn more about Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) month, right here in Salida. There’s events for every member of the family, from kids to adults.

Ribbon Dance, Dragon and Lion Team perform twice in Salida on May 6

What better way to get the festivities started than with costumed dance? The community is invited to enjoy cultural performances such as a FREE traditional Chinese ribbon inspired dance choreographed by local dancer Sarah Zhang, and a Dragon and Lion dance by the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center from Denver. It all begins with the Ribbon Dance at 1:10 p.m. on Saturday May 6 at Little Cambodia, in the shopping plaza at 1548 G St.

2020 photo Courtesy Tina Gramann

At 2:30 p.m. the Dragon and Lion Team will appear and all the while attendees can also make crafts, create a mini-Jeepney and dragon and enjoy a martial arts demonstration and food for purchase by Little Cambodia Restaurant.

Adults may choose to enjoy the second performance by both troupes which begins at 6:00 p.m. just around the corner at Soulcraft Brewing 248 West Rainbow Blvd (Hwy 50). After the performance, the on-site “Asian Fusion Disco Lounge” will feature a DJ and dancing.

Looking ahead

On behalf of the City of Salida. Mayor Dan Shore has proclaimed May, 2023 as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) month. The proclamation reads in part: “Asian and Pacific Americans have endured and overcome hardship and heartache, contributing in great and significant ways to all aspects of society by creating works of literature and art, thriving as American athletes, prospering in the worlds of academia and entertainment, and contributing to American civil rights movements; there’s much more to celebrate all month long…”

Downtown Salida Celebrates

Tres Litros Beer Company at 118 North E Street in Salida hosts an installation of a photography exhibit “Asian Barbie in Rural Colorado”.  Also downtown you are encouraged to look for local businesses participating in AAPI month. There will be window decorations as  businesses such as Corvus Clothing, Kaleidoscope Toys, Little Red Tricycle, YOLO, and more join in the celebrations.

Wrapping up the month: Sunday, May 21, at Tres Litros

Save the date for  the capstone “ART, CULTURE, and AAPI” event. Starting at 4:00 p.m. there will be a multi-media gala for the whole family. Stay tuned to Ark Valley Voice for more details about this fun-filled wrap party.

Since 2016, Salida Creativity Lab has partnered with area schools, after school programs, and the community during ASIA FEST to provide diverse cultural programming to more than 250 students and community members each year. From cultural performances, to book talks, art, films, food, and more, Salida Creativity Lab will build upon the celebrations of years past to make this year, the best ever.

ASIA FEST is sponsored by High Country Bank, the HHSB Family Fund, Kaleidoscope Toys, and CoWork Salida. Thanks to these sponsors, ASIA FEST performances and activities are FREE!

Featured image: Dancers celebrate ASIA FEST Feb. 8, 2020. Photo courtesy Tina Gramann