Dallas, Plano Festivals Celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian culture comes alive every May as communities nationwide celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. The annual recognition began with a congressional bill. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution designating the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week. Years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension to stretch the celebration for the entire month.May was chosen in recognition of the emigration of the first Japanese to the U.S., on May 7, 1843. It also was the month in 1869 when the transcontinental railroad was finished through the work of countless Chinese immigrants. Dallas and Plano have two of the biggest local festivals. The Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber presents its free Asian Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 13 on the Cotton Bowl Plaza at Fair Park. Parking is between Gates 5 and 6. Details are at asianfestival.com.Plano's free AsiaFest will be from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th St. For details, visit asianamericanheritage.org. Also in Plano, a free Asian art exhibition runs through May 15 at the Courtyard Theater, 1509 H Avenue.The Marco Polo World Foundation will celebrate with the free Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 21 at Lake Carolyn in Irving. Now in its 10th year, the festival was the first to bring dragon boat racing to the area. About 40 teams will compete in the races. Teams from China will demonstrate this ancient tradition of racing in colorful boats that carry about 22 rowers. Guests can also watch cultural performances and fly kites. To learn more, visit dfwdragonboatfestival.com.The Flower Mound Public Library, 3030 Braodmoor Lane, also marks the month with exhibits and programs. Visit fmlibrary.net.Punk BuddhaThese aren't your traditional Buddha sculptures. They are cloaked in colorful robes and adorned with crystals. The designs on the robes range from balloons and flowers to skulls and zebra stripes.   Continue reading...

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