Arts & Entertainment: Come one, come all to 16th annual Asian New Year celebration

  • LET THERE BE LIGHT. Patsy O'Connell releases a chinese lantern at last year's Asia Pacific New Year Festival. The host country for 2013 was Taiwan. (Photo Courtesy Of Asia Pacific Cultural Center)

Locals will gather to celebrate the traditions of Asia and the Pacific Islands at the 16th annual Asia Pacific New Year festival this weekend. The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall, 2727 E. ‘D’ St., featuring food, music, dance, martial arts demonstrations, more than 60 vendors and more.

The event is organized by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, a non-profit group that, since 1996, has united Asian and Pacific Islander groups from around the state. There are organized groups representing 18 countries in Washington, according to APCC executive director Faaluaina Pritchard; and each year one is recognized as host at the Asia Pacific New Year event. This year the spotlight is on Tahiti.

“There is only one big family of Tahitians here in the state of Washington, and there are maybe two other families,” Pritchard said. “But the biggest family is the Radfords, and they live in Bellevue. So we got them to come, and they have a dance group called Te Fare O Tamatoa. Literally translated, it's 'house of the king' or 'house of warriors.'”

The event is free and open to all ages. Parking will cost $10, and attendants are accepting cash only.

Schedule of this year's entertainment.

Main Cultural Stage Entertainment

Opening Ceremony, 11 a.m.

Host nation Tahiti, noon

Japan Kabuki Academy and Okinawa Taiko Drums, 1:30 p.m.

Hawaii, Guam, Imahe, 2 p.m.

Filipino Youth Activity Drill Team, 2:30 p.m.

International Chinese Academy, 3 p.m.

India Association of Western Washington, 3:30 p.m.

Kinnaly Dance & Laos Association, 4 p.m.

Su A Kim Korean Traditional Dance Troupe, 4:30 p.m.

Saraswati/Northwest Indonesia Cultural Association, 5 p.m.

Polynesian Club of Federal Way High School, 5:30 p.m.

Demonstration Room

Vietnamese martial arts, noon

Hawaiian hula, 12:30 p.m.

Filipino martial arts, 1 p.m.

Filipino folk dances, 1:30 p.m.

Okinawa martial arts, 2 p.m.

Taiwan Aboriginal, 2:30 p.m.

Thai boxing, 3 p.m.

Japanese Kendo, 3:30 p.m.

Karate, 4 p.m.

Tae Kwan Do, 4:30 p.m.

Hot hula, 5 p.m.

Asia Pacific New Year celebration

Saturday, Feb. 15

10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Tacoma Dome Exhibition Center

2727 E. ‘D’ St.

Free admission

(253) 383-3900 or


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