Milwaukee WI: Asia Fest of Milwaukee, two days of unforgettable celebration, was held on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12, 2015. The well attended Annual extravaganza was held at the scenic and trendy Milwaukee’s lakefront, Veterans Park, located at 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, WI.
Wisconsin has a huge Asian population. Missing from this city of festivals was an ethnic event that highlights this community, the people in it, their culture, music, dance, products, art and most importantly their food. Asia Fest of Milwaukee celebrates the diverse cultures of the world’s most intriguing continent. From Bollywood to Beijing festival goers can experience the music, dance songs and food of Milwaukee’s diverse Asian population. The attendance for this event was “House full”
The organizing team for Asia Fest of Milwaukee (AFOM) is Rina Modak, Karmen Kron, Subhendu Modak, and John Kettler. The event is an Ocean Breeze Entertainment production. They did a fabulous job organizing an amazing event that celebrates the Asian cultural diversity of Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Ocean Breeze Entertainment produces scripted and non-scripted programming and is always keen to promote local talent.
Asia Fest of Milwaukee gave those who wanted to learn an venue to enjoy a multi-cultural Asian experience along with an opportunity for visitors to interact with, learn and experience diverse Asian cultures, heritage and traditions through visual performance arts, cultural displays, demonstrations, educational materials, and interactive workshops. Also included were vendors selling authentic mouth watering food from various countries and multi-ethnic merchandise representing those of Asian descent and others.
Asia Fest of Milwaukee is a collaborative effort by many organizations and communities. Cultures from 15 different Asian countries were represented by residents residing in states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Florida and Minnesota. The main goal was bringing together long time US residents with different Asian communities to educate and promote diverse Asian cultures and traditions.
Kick off occurred at 1:00 PM. The opening ceremonies featured Lion Dances, a Taiko Drummer, Middle Eastern Dances, Indian Drummers and Indian Bhangra Dance among other performances. Samantha Fairuz did admirable job as Master of ceremony. National Anthem was sung by 9 year old Senria Nath, who received standing ovation for her singing. Senria Nath was the winner of the Chicago Indian Icon award for 2013. Rina Modak introduced Milwaukee Mayor Mr. Tom Barrett and presented him with bouquet of flowers, an Asia Fest of Milwaukee T shirt and other memorabilia.
Mayer’s brief remark: “Welcome to City of Festivals and Milwaukee’s beautiful Lake front. I want to thank all the organizers for putting together this wonderful Asian festival. The most prominent of Milwaukee’s streets that we have on the Southside is National Avenue. I have been tempted to rename this street to International Avenue because it reflects the true diversity we have in our city. We all come from different backgrounds and our community has strength from all it’s different cultures. The more we learn to understand different nationalities and different cultures the more peaceful our world will be and I am so grateful to have everyone here today because you are the future of our community”
The Entertainment included traditional colorful dance, music, live bands and different performances from India, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Laos, South Korea, and many more. The venue was presented in well coordinated multi-stage performances by different national performing artists, kid’s workshops, arts, crafts, a magic show and more. Highlights included world famous Bollywood Disco King Bappi Lahiri from India, renowned Filipino Band Klutch, Middle Eastern Belly dancers, Japanese Drum band, special fire performances by Brew City Fire Brigade and many more., Taiko Drummers, Illusion Show, Lion Dances, Puppet Show, Sri Lankan performance, Bharat Natyam Dances, Taiko Drummers, Fire Performer, Klutch performance, performance by Shompreeti Rahman from Bangladesh, Clowns, Denai’s Dancers, Safar Dancers, Trisha Dancers, Desert wind Dancers, Nkauj Hmoob USA dancers, Hmong group performances, Okniwoko Tyco Drummer, Sitar by Ariba Khan & group, Srilankan performance by Nimesha & group, Bengali Group dance, Nepali Dance performance, South Korean Dance, Bangladeshi’s performance, Thai Fon Malai Dance, Punjabi Giddha & Bhnagra dance, Thailand Sri Wichai Dance, Bharatnatyam Dance, Bollywood dance, Taiwan Puppet show, Hmong Qeej performance, Martial Arts performance, Tamarind Dancers and Hawaiian Dances. Shefali Vallecha did excellent job as Master of ceremony for Disco King Bappi Lahiri event and organizing Indian Fashion Show.
Principal organizer Rina Modak, when questioned by Asian Media regarding main purpose of the mega event, answered that Asia Fest of Milwaukee was a collaborative effort by many cultural organizations and communities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota representing cross section of multiethnic immigrant residents calling Wisconsin in general and Milwaukee in particular their proud home.
A nominal admission fee of $10 was charged for adults and $5 for children. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to support Nepal Earthquake Relief fund, the ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter and other selected nonprofit organizations.
There were many activities for kids of all ages including Face Painting, Coloring, Drawing, magic show by Kirk Patrick Magician.
The Milwaukee Police Department did a first-rate job by providing protection and safety measures including directing and controlling the traffic. Auto Parking management attendants coordinated clutter free entry, exit and parking for over 1500 cars. For seniors and physically challenged persons, electric golf cart transportation was provided. Backup generators were also prearranged as added security measures. Adequate quantities of clean state of the art portable toilets were available all around the festival grounds. Well lit signs were posted to guide visitors for precise clear direction. Another example of the excellent arrangements made by the management was the ATM machines, which were installed for emergency cash withdrawal. Just like every other example of flawless planning, agile management was evident in and around stage 1 and 2 to help event go effortlessly. This included the arrangement of all the tables and chairs and managing sound and lighting equipments.
Asia Fest of Milwaukee Sponsors, Partners and Supporters included Coca Cola, US Bank, Wisdom InfoTech, Shepherd Express, AugRay, Miller Lite, Preludesys, Sybaris Pool Suites, Wisconsin Gazette.com, Conley Media, ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter, Privately Linked, AMKE, Breeze Consulting Group, MJA, Chinese Kung-FU Center, Morningstar Montessori, OnMilwaukee.com, Park East Hotel, Shaolin Center, Milwaukee County Parks County, Hello Nri, Tekbon, Waget Wisconsin Academy of Global Training, Kilian Insurance, Safar Dance Company, Hmong American Friendship Association, Anaguma Eisa and WCAIO.
Vendor / Exhibitors: Ever Dry Waterproofing, Asian Fusion Bistro, LaCoppa Gelato, Bombay Sweets Inc, Atul Kumbhani, Deep Food / Chetak Chicago, Milwaukee Japanese Association, Sona Fashions, Pho King, Izumi’s Japanese Restaurant, Brim Cafe & Catering, Rosy Sachdeva + Peenal Patel, Xiong Family Foods, Hmong American Friendship Association, Mona Kondeti, Anime Milwaukee, Buddha Lounge, Youngstar, Bohemian Girl, Something Sweet Lemonade, Alvernos Women of Asian Ethnicity, Vani’s Kitchen, Inc, Sue Wroblewski, Filipino American Nation Historical Society of Wisconsin, Koepsells Popcorn, Swades Food Inc, Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds, Elepahant Foot Prints, Taigress, Thai – American Association of Milwaukee, Young Living Essential Oils, Tom Hein, Citizens Acting for Rail Safety, MandM Saree, Jewellery Vendor, ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter, Falun Gong, Arabi School of Dance, VIBHA
Source: Asian Media USA
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