This year’s Great New York State Fair now has an Asian Village that recognizes the contributions and history of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.
About the Asian Village: The new installment, which runs from Wednesday to Saturday, invites fairgoers to experience a variety of AANHPI cultures by eating traditional food and enjoying numerous events that feature Asian music, dance and fashion. One of the traditional dance performances is the lion dance of the Vietnamese community, which is an integral part of Lunar New Year celebrations.
Tai Shaw’s vision: The Asian Village joins the Indian Village, Latino Village and Pan African Village in providing visitors with the opportunity to experience the many backgrounds and cultures of New Yorkers. The village was reportedly a dream come true for Superintendent Tai Shaw, who has served as a leader and activist in the Asian community in Syracuse.
“Everyone’s excited for the State Fair every year, some people feel that they go to a Disney World, right? So for us, we walk in here and there’s nothing that we can call ours,” Shaw told WSYR-TV.
“Finally our community has a voice and we are an invisible voice, and there’s 7.1 billion of us, so this is an opportunity for the State of New York. We want to bring joy to people, when people walk into the village, if they haven’t been to Asia, they’re gonna be in Asia now. This is an opportunity to make our culture shine here, and we’re gonna have five different regional foods, we have Middle Eastern Asian, North and South Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and Asian Islanders.”
About the state fair: Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair is the oldest state fair in the U.S. It is reportedly the most affordable state fair in the nation – adults pay $6 while children and senior citizens can enter for free.
Besides the Asian Village, the state fair has added other additions, such as the Dinosaur Expedition exhibit and the Voice of the Farmer Garden exhibit.
“[Fairgoers] have access to an array of world-class entertainment, shows, exhibits, and programs without having to pay a penny,” said Fair Director Sean Hennessey. “Agriculture attractions, educational exhibits, cultural traditions, and history, we’ve got it all. No matter what your interests are, there is something for you at The Great New York State Fair.”