DES MOINES, Iowa —
As Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) month rounds out, one of the biggest celebrations of culture will fill the streets of downtown Des Moines once again.
CelebrAsian, a festival put on by the Iowa Asian Alliance, invites visitors to explore more than a dozen villages bursting with authentic food, cultural showcases, performances, martial arts and more.
This family-friendly celebration brings together countless cultures and has plenty to check out. Here's what you need to know ahead of time.
Is CelebrAsian free to attend?
Yes, this yearly celebration of Asian culture and heritage is free to attend for all. No tickets are required, either - just an empty stomach and an open mind.
When and where is the festival?
The two-day CelebrAsian festival will take place in the Western Gateway neighborhood in downtown Des Moines on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27.
Festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.
Where should I park?
Street parking is pay-by-the-hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both days of the festival, so keep an eye out for meters and temporary “no parking” signs.
Free parking is available at the Nationwide Ramp (enter at 12th and Walnut Street).
If you'd prefer to use one of the downtown parking garages, check out Des Moines' parking page for information on payment, entry streets and more.
Here is a list of downtown garages:
- Center Street Park & Ride Parking Garage – 830 6th Ave
- 5th & Keo Parking Garage, – 525 5th Ave
- 4th & Grand Parking Garage – 400 Grand Ave
- 3rd & Court Parking Garage – 210 2nd Ave
- East 2nd Street Parking Garage – 402 E. 2nd Street
- E 4th & Des Moines Parking Garage – 555 E 4th Street
What's there to do at CelebrAsian?
Whether it's fashion shows, robotics competitions, culinary expositions, food stalls or performances you're interested in, there's plenty of ways to "immerse yourself in the richness of Asian heritage without leaving Iowa" at the festival. Click here for a full list of events.
Here's the entertainment lineup for both days of the festival. Artist bios are available here.
Friday, May 26:
- Teri Underhill: 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Open karaoke: 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Dang Felton: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Joemari Felarca: 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Andrew Hoyt: 4:30 p.m. to 5: 20 p.m.
- OrchestraAsian: 5:20 p.m. to 5:35 p.m.
- S.A.F.E.: 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
- Des Moines Breakerz: 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Anneston: 8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- Fuzon Unlimited: 8:45 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, May 26:
- Opening remarks: 11 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
- Cambodian Village: 11:20 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
- Filipino Village: 11:45 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
- Indian Village: 12:10 p.m. to 12:35 p.m.
- Martial arts demonstrations: 12:35 p.m. to 1 p.m.
- JASI and Taiko drums: 1 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.
- Korean Village: 1:40 p.m. to 2:05 p.m.
- Laos Village: 2:05 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
- Nepalese Village: 2:15 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.
- Pacific Islander Village: 2:40 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.
- Next SensAsian: 3:10 p.m. to 3:40 p.m.
- SCARS Dance Group: 3:40 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.
- Thai Village: 3:55 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.
- Vietnamese Village: 4:20 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
- Afternoon matches and award ceremony: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Hmong Village: 4:45 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
- CelebrAsian fashion show: 5:10 p.m. to 6:10 p.m.
- CelebrAsian scholars and village awards: 6:10 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Asian drag performance: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Award announcements: 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Dynamic Duo, Andy and Helena: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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