From dragon boat racing to Asian dancing, visitors could see and try it all at the 4th Annual Asian Cultural Expo. The Asian festival and the 2-day Walgreens Orlando International Dragon Boat Races were held at Village Lake and Downtown Disney’s West Side in Lake Buena Vista, Florida during the weekend of October 19th.
“Once again we had a great day for the Walgreens Dragon Boat Festival at Downtown Disney. The combination of Sport, Health and Culture was evident everywhere. Dragon Boat is a great sport because it can be done by such a wide range of people. Combined with the Walgreens Health Village and the Asia Trend Cultural exhibition I’d say it was a good day for body and soul. Plus we were able to support MD Anderson Hospital,” said Marlin Hutchens, Market Vice President of Walgreen Company.
Photos: Marty Fries, Michael Weis, John Chung, Vu Nguyen and C.K. Lau (To view the photo album, visit www.facebook.com/Asian.Cultural.EXPO)
“It’s definitely our honor to be here. It has been our fourth year to showcase our culture in the Asian Cultural EXPO. By adding the different cultural workshops, we would like to create interactions and let the audiences experience the Asian culture. Showing unity and the effort of teamwork is what we want,” said Shally Wong, founder and publisher of Asia Trend Magazine.
There was plenty to see and do to experience the culture of Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Polynesia, Taiwan, China and the Philippines.
The City of Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan kicked off the event by hosting the eye dotting ceremony. “A lot of the Asian businesses are located at District 4 where I represent and it is such a pleasure to work with the Asian Community with such a rich heritage,” said Sheehan at the grand opening.
“This morning we had the Lion Dance, Taiko Drums, Filipino Dance, Polynesian Dance, Martial Arts and Chinese Dance. With the different booths, you can see the Chinese calligraphy and Japanese origami. We have the Chinese herbal school and the SNAP Photo Shop. That’s a lot of fun. We have the Asian products you can shop for. This is face-toface, get to learn the different Asian cultures. People just love it and embrace the Asian culture here,” said Wong.
The expo also had free health screenings at the Walgreen’s booth.
“This is a great event. It gets bigger every year. We’re out here every year to do free blood pressure checks for anybody who wants to come by and get their blood pressure checked,” said Dennis Pustinger, a Walgreen’s Pharmacy manager.
Many visitors also watched the international dragon boat teams compete on Village Lake.
“Everybody who does dragon boats here also understands how important the dragon boats are — coming from China over a thousand years ago. They know about that. That’s great. “We love to be part of it,” said Wong.
The Asian Cultural Expo also is a fundraiser for Asia Trend Magazine, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. “We hope to promote Asian cultural arts and welcome more people to experience the diversity. We hope to generate funds which can go back to the performing groups. They need more funding and publicity as the main stream media is not helping a lot. We have a lot more coming up for the next year or two, “ said Wong.