Ace Marasigan says it all started one afternoon when him and his wife Jackie were driving home after celebrating at a festival downtown, and he got a glimpse in the rearview mirror of his son Redd.
“I asked my wife, “he doesn’t see people that looks like him celebrating out in the community”. So we were talking about it, and we decided we could keep complaining about things like this or we could do something about it.”
So, Marasigan got a couple of his friends together to organize the first Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival in the summer of 2017. Back then, the festival was a one day affair, but today the event has grown in popularity so much that they are turning the festival into a three day family friendly affair beginning this Friday.
“This year we have tons of things for the kids, we have carnival games, we also have cultural kids’ games so we could teach about some our games from when we were growing up.”
The event will feature 13 food vendors including specialty dishes from Korea, the Philippines and Nepal – as well as a yoga class, music shows, a fashion show, a family dance class, and a pho eating contest. The free event will begin at 11am on Friday at Rosa Parks Circle.
Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News.