UC Merced

Asian Fest '09: UC Merced ready for big party

The Martial Arts Club at UC Merced will host the fourth annual "Asian Fest '09 -- A Celebration of Culture" at the campus April 4.

What started in 2006 has now grown to be one of the largest activities on campus held by a student organization.

One of the questions constantly asked every year is, "Do I have to be Asian to attend?" The answer is, "No!" as the festival embraces all cultures and provides an opportunity for the students and the community at large to come together.

While the festival is deemed "Asian Fest," it is far from being limited to solely the Asian culture. The event strives to stay true to the principles of community, culture and unity as it encourages different friends and family to view, taste and enjoy various displays of tradition.

Asian Fest kicks off at 11 a.m. with outdoor festivities featuring vendors, food, games, activities, and a blend of both contemporary and traditional cultural performances.

Guests are encouraged to come with an open mind and an empty stomach as student organizations and local restaurants such as Sam Café, T's Asian Bistro, and Panda Express will offer a variety of ethnic cuisine.

There will be traditional dishes from Filipino lumpia and pancit, to pad thai and boba, along with new fusions, such as the teriyaki tri-tip sandwich.

In addition to all the outdoor festivities, "The Supershow" will encompass many cultures all on one stage through performances of Japanese taiko, Chinese lion dance, Tahitian dance, Korean drummers, Bhangra, Soran bushi, martial arts and more.

This will also mark the release of a special collaboration project by the Martial Arts Club at UC Merced performing a kata to a piece played by the Nikkei Student Union on the Taiko drums. Supershow tickets will be available for $5 for adults and $3 for kids 10 & younger.

At 8 p.m., the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center will play host to the "The Main Event" which will feature the original winner of NBC's "Last Comic Standing," Dat Phan. Phan has also been featured on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Comedy Central Presents."

In addition to a live performance by the comedian, the winners of MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew" season 2, Super Cr3w, will also perform. After the show, a meet-and-greet with the performers will also be available for merchandise and autograph opportunities.

For the general admission price of $8, the doors will open at 7:30. For those who buy a limited VIP early passes at $10, the doors will open for priority seating at 7 p.m.

For more information and for tickets, Chris Abrescy can be reached at (209) 617-1684 and cabrescy@ucmerced.edu.

Guests are also encouraged to visit the Web site at www.AsianFest09.com.