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2021 Cleveland Asian Festival goes virtual

The event, which is being held in May, is moving online due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols.

CLEVELAND — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video in the player above is from a previous story.

The Cleveland Asian Festival is back in 2021 with an entirely virtual event.

The fun kicks off on Saturday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m., and will showcase performances, food and drinks, cultures and traditions from Asian and Pacific Island nations. May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The event is free, and will be streamed on YouTube. You can subscribe to the group's page by clicking here.

“CAF is always considered the festival that kicks off summer. We were hoping for this year to be an in-person event but with Covid's restrictions and the lack of events permits directions from the City, we are doing it virtually to celebrate our culture and diversity. We also hope to entice viewers to check out AsiaTown and try all the wonderful places we offer once they can," says Johnny Wu, one of the founders of CAF. 

Lisa Wong, president of OCAGC and one of the founders of CAF, says “We're excited about this year's Cleveland Asian Festival and the opportunity to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May.  While this year's event will be virtual, we hope viewers will learn more about the rich and diverse Asian cultures we have here in Northeast Ohio.  We invite everyone to patronize the local Asian businesses and to continue supporting the APA community during these challenging times.”

The Cleveland Asian Festival was canceled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This year's festival comes on the heels of a surge in anti-Asian violence and hate. More than one thousand people showed up to a peaceful Stop Asian Hate rally in Cleveland in March. The same group also held a virtual celebration of Lunar New Year earlier in 2021.