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Thousands attend Chinese Culture and Cuisine Festival in Phoenix

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Thousands attended the Chinese Culture and Cuisine Festival, a three-day event during Phoenix Chinese Week, on Saturday at Margaret T. Hance Park.

The event showcased Chinese restaurants, stage performers and artists from the Phoenix area.

“Our mission is to unite communities, to showcase and display our rich Chinese culture, which is over 5,000 years old,” festival organizer Elaine Wong said. “We’re just very, very proud of our culture, and love sharing this with everyone.”

“We always have our culture and cuisine festival right around the Lunar New Year,” Wong said. “It’s always our Phoenix Chinese Week.”

Many volunteers attended the festival, including Chinese high school students with the National Chinese Honor Society.

“Every year I come out here, and it’s been great,” said Aiai Price-Smith, the 17-year-old president of the NCHS at her school. Price-Smith said that as a Chinese-American, the festival helps her reconnect back to her roots.

Bobby Kwan, 34, attended the festival to serve food with his family from the Kwan Express. Kwan said that after growing up in the area and attending the event every year, “now it’s time for us to be a part of it.”

“Just seeing the community come out, and 40-to-50 thousand people every year, it’s kind of awesome to serve them and see everyone have a good time,” Kwan said. “It’s just awesome to be a part of it.”

Wong said the event has a photo and art gallery and continuous performances on its stage over the three days. “It’s a very family-oriented festival,” she said.

The festival will continue through Sunday. For more information about the festival and Phoenix Chinese Week, visit phoenixchineseweek.org

Reach Ryan at ryan.vlahovich@arizonarepublic.com or follow him on Twitter @vlahovichryan

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