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Thousands attend Asian Festival in Mesa

Posted at 5:41 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 19:41:42-05

MESA, AZ — Thousands gathered, including dozens of vendors and performers, to honor different cultures for the inaugural Asian Festival in Mesa Saturday.

"This is our first time in Arizona enjoying the Lunar New Year and we wanted to take my daughter out to the festivities," said Khoi Mai.

Census data shows the Asian population has been growing in the Mesa area.

In 2020, the city named a two-mile stretch on Dobson Road the Asian District which has about 70 Asian-owned businesses in the area.

Vendors told ABC15 they like sharing their culture by celebrating the Lunar New Year.

"So we usually celebrate it in China -- and then we'll bring dumplings to everyone, dumpling means good luck today so that's why we're cooking dumplings for everyone right now," said Honglin Zhu.

Organizers said they plan on bringing the event back next year.

"Yeah. This has been good. Thousands of people have come down," said Dr. Steve Kaplan, one of the people that helped create the event.

According to Kaplan, sponsors have already expressed interest in doing more in the future.

He told ABC15 he hopes more people will show an interest in other cultures.

"So a lot of people know about one Asian culture or another but they're very, quite different," he added.