13th Annual ‘Celebrasian’ Festival Moves Location

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DES MOINES, Iowa – This will be the 13th year the Iowa Asian Alliance put together the Celerbrasian Festival and it has a new location.

The festival will be moved to Western Gateway Park at 1000 Grand Ave, Des Moines.

Organizer said they wanted to move festival to provide a more central location. The move also allows the festival to serve adult beverages. There will be a kick-off event that starts Friday at 2 p.m.

The event will feature 13 different countries in Asia and the volunteers are excited to share their culture.

“The must see thing is definitely the stage and the cultural activities that go on there. There are several events planned, check out the entertainment schedule on the website,” said Sashank Ganti, Celebrasian. “Definitely make it a point to sample as much food as you can.”

Ganti said that this is as close as one can get to getting authentic Asian food in Iowa without going to Asia.

“It is mostly the vendors that we have here are authentic Indian Food. Also, the Indian village itself has an authentic food tent where we have some of the volunteers cooking and selling food,”Ganti said. “It’s going to be really closed to home cooked authentic Indian food.”

This year’s theme is Ray of Freedom. It marks the 40th anniversary since former Governor Robert Ray initiated programs to allow refugees for Southeast Asia who were displaced by the Vietnam War to live and obtain citizenship in Iowa.

Gov. Ray is expected to attend and they will have a ceremony honoring him. Organizer Nu Huynh said it was a bit of struggle to get former 86-year-old Gov. Ray to attend. He was adamant about not being paraded around in a wheel chair. Huynh said that he wants to experience the festival and they agreed.

Celebrasian is expected to bring in over 50,000 visitor this Saturday.