(Feb. 15, 2010)--Every year, in the week of the Lunar New Year, San Antonio's Asian community celebrates its heritage and shares music, dance, food and customs during the Asian Festival. This year's Asian Festival will be Saturday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures.
What started as a family reunion 23 years ago has become a day of activities held at ITC. An opening parade around the festival grounds will include popping firecrackers, beating drums and clashing cymbals, frightening away evil spirits and heralding the arrival of the San Antonio Lion Dance Association. The dancers, in elaborate two-person costumes, will perform dance and acrobatic maneuvers as they arrive at the main stage.
The day continues with the native dance and music of China, Japan, Korea and the Asian cultures of the Indian sub-continent and the Pacific Ocean. Guests can see traditional Okinawan dance, Hula-style fire dances and Filipino Binasuan, which challenges dancers to perform with glasses of water balanced on their heads.
Martial arts organizations from around San Antonio will showcase various techniques of defense and discipline from the swordsmanship of Kendo to the meditation of Tai Chi Chuan. Instructors will discuss the history of the techniques and the honor systems that govern them.
A series of lectures, discussions and demonstrations expand the educational aspects of the festival. Guests can learn about Eastern philosophies and religions, cooking techniques from the UTSA East Asia Institute and the St. Philip's College school of culinary arts, Asian games such as Mah-jongg, and the Asian styles of harvesting and brewing tea.
The festival is an opportunity to sample the native foods of several Asian countries. Many food offerings will be prepared in native styles from family recipes:
In a returning event this year, Sushi Zushi will offer a sake tasting. Guests age 21 and up can purchase an additional $5 ticket, first-come-first-served, for a presentation on rice wine and a taste of various styles and brands.
"The Asian Festival is a one-of-a-kind San Antonio family event with activities for all ages," said Jo Ann Andera, ITC director of special events. "It is an opportunity to share and celebrate the traditions of the distinct Asian cultures of Texas, and we invite everyone to join us for this unique experience."
Advance tickets are available at TexanCultures.com. Adult tickets (age 13 and older) are $8, children (ages 6-12) $4, age five and younger, free. Group ticket discounts are automatically applied to online purchases of 20 or more tickets. Gate prices are adult (age 13 and older) $10, children (ages 6-12) $5, age five and younger, free.
UTSA students, faculty and staff can enter the promotional code "UTSA" for a discount on their purchases. UTSA permit parking at the HemisFair Park Campus is not available the day of the event.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is at 801 E. Durango Blvd. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
UTSA Associate Dean/Associate Professor Francine Romero will sit down with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg for a wide-ranging conversation about the Mayor's vision for the City's future. Seating is at capacity but the San Antonio Express-News will stream it live.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
The sympoisum will focus on the interface between aging and neurodegenerative diseases, will educate the wider research community about advancements in this fast-paced field and stimulate collaborative research in this area. Register online for this free event.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.106), Main Campus
The 23rd International Conference on Historical Linguistics is offering four special panels open and free to the San Antonio public July 31-Aug. 3 to mark the tricentennial next year. The event is co-sponsored by UTSA Research.
Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., San Antonio
Orientation marks a major step toward becoming a Roadrunner. It is a unique experience designed to welcome freshmen and transfers to UTSA and ensure a successful transition into college. They will learn about UTSA, prepare for their first semester and have fun meeting other students. There is also a special Family Orientation program too.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.