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Columbus Asian Festival brings food, entertainment to Franklin Park on Saturday and Sunday



More than 100,000 people kick off central Ohio’s summer festival season this weekend at the 30th annual Columbus Asian Festival.

The two-day festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday at Franklin Park, showcases food, music, dance, art and other parts of the cultures of the continent. It comes at the end of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which is observed each May.

Organizers expect more than 100,000 people to attend.

Here’s what you need to know to plan your visit.

When is the Asian Festival?

It’s Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The National Weather Service says there’s a 30% chance of rain Saturday and a 50% chance on Sunday. Highs are to be in the 80s both days.

Where is the Asian Festival?

It’s at Franklin Park, 1777 E. Broad St. on the Near East Side.

How much is admission?

It’s free to get in.

What are the highlights of Asian Festival?

It’s a tie between the food, the entertainment and sporting events. Foodwise, the festival is a good opportunity to expand beyond the Asian cuisines with which you’re probably familiar into some that aren’t as broadly represented in central Ohio.

If you like egg rolls and lo mein, try Filipino dishes such as lumpia Shanghai and pancit canton. Look for Cambodian, Lao and other cuisines, as well. You’ll also likely find dishes and drinks that are more widely available everywhere these days, such as yakitori and other types of skewers, bubble tea and rolled ice cream.

There are chairs around the amphitheater stage, but bring your own if you want a comfortable, shady place to take in entertainment from dancers, drummers and musicians performing traditional and modern styles from across Asia.

This year’s performers include the K-Sori Korean Drum Team, the Columbus Waterlily Dance Group, Chinese folk dancer Amy Ho, the Nepali Cultural Dance Club and the Philseco & Fil-Am Philippine dance group.

There are plenty of martial arts demonstrations, as well.

Where’s a good place to park?

For a festival that draws so many people, parking is easy and accessible. The Asian Festival provides free shuttle-bus service from free parking lots in the following locations around Franklin Park:

  • Wolfe Park, 105 Park Drive
  • St. Charles Preparatory School, 2010 E. Broad St.
  • East High School, 1500 E. Broad St.
  • Ohio State East Hospital, 181 Taylor Ave. The shuttle picks people up and drops them off at the East High School lot nearby.
  • Ohio State Outpatient Care East, 543 Taylor Ave.

Festival organizers urge people not to park on streets around Franklin Park, because cars can be ticketed or towed. Handicap parking is recommended at Wolfe Park or St. Charles Preparatory School. Drop-off for Uber and Lyft passengers, as well as those with mobility issues, is at the Franklin Park entrance off Broad Street.

More information can be found at

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