It has been three years since we lived with the pandemic, and it’s safe to say – even for the introverts – we’re all pretty ready to emerge from our homes, interact with others in real life and attend community events.

Washington state has lifted pandemic restrictions as of last month, and we are excited to learn that some of our well-loved ID events are coming back to our API community this spring and summer.

Many have expressed their excitement over the return of in-person events.

Aleksa Manila, founder of Pride ASIA, said being able to do the event in-person where it was held in Hing Hay Park pre-pandemic, is going to feel “magical.”

“I’m looking forward to this magical moment happening again,” Manila said. “I think I’m going to be expecting myself to have some tears of joy from it.”

She also mentioned the anti-Asian hate crimes happening in the past few years, and she believes having face-to-face human connections is important to overcome these difficulties.

Connie Au-yeung, communications and marketing manager of Chinese International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), said she appreciated the loyal base of the community members who are ready to celebrate the events with CIDBIA. She and others are excited for in-person events to happen.

To ensure the event happens safely within the neighborhood, Au-yeung said they are working their best to follow the guidelines, making sure the safety of the community is taken into consideration.

Here is the list of some favorite community-based events happening in person soon:

Members of Northwest Kung Fu and Fitness walked through the ID at a Lunar New Year celebration ion 2019. Photo from International Examiner archives.

Year of the Tiger Celebration
Apr 30, 2022

Lunar New Year landed on February 1 this year, marking a new transition to the year of a new zodiac – the tiger.

The CIDBIA-hosted celebration showcases different entertainers, live performances, vendors and to create an economically vibrant neighborhood. It has been held traditionally for decades in the neighborhood over January or February, but CIDBIA decided to postpone it to April due to the rapid development of the Omicron variant.

While last year they opted to do a food walk only celebration, this year it is coming back with a street festival as well. The staging will happen at Hing Hay Park, and there will also be vendors lining up off streets. A food walk featuring delicious menu items from Chinatown’s businesses will also happen alongside the entertainment performance.

Date: April 30, 2022
Time: 11 AM – 4 PM
Venue: Hing Hay Park

From left to right, Tennishia Williams, Aleksa Manila, Dominique Stephens, and Mixx America talk, during Pride Asia at Hing Hay Park in 2019. Photo by Carolyn Bick

Pride ASIA Festival
May 20, 2022

Pride ASIA festival is an annual celebration of the AAPI community and their LGBTQ identities. Every year they have local artists performing on stage.

The festival has been organized since 2012. Over the pandemic, they have done it as a virtual event online. This year they are finally coming back with an in-person celebration at Hing Hay Park. In the past, they usually did it on Capitol Hill. But this year they hope to bring LGBTQ community into the International District and bring entertainment to the AAPI elders and seniors who reside there.

Pride ASIA is holding the event towards the end of May because May is the AAPI month, which could remind others that there are LFBTQ members in the AAPI community. It will also be a kick-off for June, the LGBTQ pride month. The event is free and all ages are welcome.

Date: May 29, 2022
Time: 12 PM
Venue: Hing Hay Park

A canine buddy joins the fun at Walk for Rice in 2019. Photo courtesy of ACRS

Walk for Rice
June 18, 2022

Walk for Rice is an annual fundraising event to support the food bank at ACRS. ACRS provides culturally familiar foods for AAPI community members in need and helps the community to strive through difficult times.

The event was held virtually last year due to the pandemic, but they might be coming back in-person this year! Stay tuned on their website.

Date: June 18, 2022
Time: TBD
Venue: Online and TBD

A volunteer turns the pig in the pig roast at the 2015 pig roast. Photo by Jill Wasberg.

Danny Woo Garden Pig Roast
July, 2022

Danny Woo Garden pig roast is an annual summer event aiming that gathers together the API community in Seattle. The pig is traditionally roasted overnight, for 12 -15 hours, before it is served to the community members. Volunteers do the roasting, rotating the pig thousands of times overnight. The event first took place in 1975, organized by Uncle Bob Santos, and has been held annually since then

The event usually happens in July. Interim CDA, who oversees the operations of the Danny Woo Community Garden, is still unsure about whether the event will be held this year. More information will come around the middle of May.

CID Block Party
August 20, 2022

CID Block Party is an event focused on Asian American music and arts. The first CID Block Party was held in 2016, inviting artists such as Awkwafina, Kero One and Tomo Nakayama to perform on stage.

Their second party was held in 2019 and community attendance went from 500 people in 2016 to 3,000 people in 2019. It was their last CID block party as COVID-19 crashed into the community in 2020.

This year they are coming back and are going to be coordinating with Friends of Little Saigon, an organization who helps preserve and enhance Little Saigon’s cultural, economic and historic vitality. The two organizations will hold their events on the same day.

On August 20, 2022, there will be a celebration for Little Saigon from 11 AM to 3 PM. The CID Block Party will take place from 3 PM to 9 PM. The Seattle Asian American Film Festival will also have a movie showing in Hing Hay Park the same evening from 9:30 PM to 10:30 PM.

The final lineup for the guest performers attending the party will be released in May. During the party, a food walk coordinating with CIDBIA will happen synchronously as well. Samples from restaurants in the Chinatown International District will be provided during the food walk. Community members can get to taste food from different cultures.

Date: August 20, 2022
Time: 3 PM – 9 PM
Venue: 900 S King St., Seattle, WA 98104

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