Savannah is home to a diverse calendar of events celebrating the many cultures that have a strong presence in our city.
This weekend, the Department of Cultural Affairs pays homage to Asian culture with its 18th Asian Festival.
DO caught up with Erin Seals, marketing coordinator for the city of Savannah's Department of Cultural Affairs, to get a sneak peek on this year's celebration.
DO: What will be different about this year's Asian Festival?
Seals: "This year, we focused on the educational aspect of Asian culture. For instance, we will be displaying images of famous monuments, maps and countries of Asia. This is a great avenue for attendees to learn more about the geography as well as the diversity of Asian cultures."
DO: Why did the Department of Cultural Affairs feel that this was an important festival to have in Savannah?
Seals: "Part of our mission is serving the community with culturally enriching programs. The Asian Festival plays a significant role in broadening the scope of education and culture globally."
DO: What educational workshops will take place this year?
Seals: "Along with our Middle Eastern tea workshop and martial arts workshops, Loop It Up Savannah will host an Asian flag-making workshop for kids, and Namaste Savannah will be hosting a Carrom Board game for all ages. The Carrom Board is a table game similar to the shuffleboard that is played throughout the Eastern Region of Asia."
DO: How do you select your performers and demonstrators?
Seals: "Although a few are from out of town, a variety of performers are right here in Savannah and have been participating in the festival since the beginning."
DO: Why is the civic center the ideal venue for this event?
Seals: "In June, it is nice to be in the air conditioning."
DO: Which restaurants are participating this year?
Seals: "Asian River Restaurant and Bar, Sushi-Zen, Chen's Chinese Restaurant, Taste of India, Savannah Filipino Authentic Cuisine and Kabayan."
DO: What can people who come to the event expect?
Seals: "Festival attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an assortment of workshops, taste a variety of cuisines from across the continent, be entertained by the thunderous Japanese Taiko drummers and amazed by the Flying Dragon Acrobats, who are known to stack chairs up to 26 feet in the air.
"Another aspect this year is that we will welcome back celebrity chef and restaurateur Orchid Paulmeier from the televised food show, 'The Next Food Network Star.'
"Last year, she was our food correspondent and will now grace the stage as the maestro of ceremonies."
DO: Anything else you'd like to add?
Seals: "I believe this is going to be one of the best events ever!"
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Asian Festival
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 22
Where: Savannah Civic Center MLK Arena