Year of the snake

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 Juan Carlos Campos

Juan Carlos Campos

 Juan Carlos Campos

Juan Carlos Campos

By Benjamin Enriquez

In celebration of the Chinese calendar’s Year of the Snake, the Institute of Texan Cultures is holding its 26th annual Asian Festival.

This event originally began as a family reunion to commence the Chinese New Year, but has spread out to involve other Asian communities, and is a display of their traditions and cultures.

This family-friendly educational experience invites people of all walks of life to come and enjoy the festivities.

Members of the Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam communities will speak on their religious beliefs, essentials, practices, as well as their experiences and how they came to America.

James Benavides, spokesperson for the Institute of Texan Cultures, said there are new performances this year to look forward to, including one by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m.

They are a Japanese style drum group based in of Sugarland that previously performed at the Folklife Festival.

Kamishibai, a Japanese style illustration of storytelling involving puppets, will be performed from 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Fifteen vendors offering Asian-American food, including Filipino, Japanese, Thai, Korean and other cuisines will be present.

One vendor, the Bombay Salsa Company, will be on hand offering Indian-Central American cuisine.

The company owner originated from India and later moved to Central America, and has blended the two styles to offer a cuisine all their own.

There also will be several lectures for viewers to watch, including one by Anne Hardgrove on the globalization of Beijing.

Craft sales that offer dolls, clothing, and artwork will be available for guests.

Almost anything of Asian descent ranging from Ikebana, a floral arrangement presentation, to martial arts organization demonstrations will be at the festival.

Tickets for adults ages 13 and older are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Children’s tickets, ages 6 through 12, are $5 both at the gate and at the door, and kids under 6 years old get in free.

The event takes place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

A menu, schedule, guide to the grounds and more are now available at

For more information, call 210-458-2300.


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