2nd annual Asian American Heritage Festival brings thousands to Columbus Park

KANSAS CITY, Mo — The second annual Asian American Heritage Festival was held in Columbus Park on Saturday. Event organizers say it returned with three times the food, vendors, performances and sponsors.

“It’s good cause I’m supporting my peoples and putting them on the map,” said visitor Danny Mongkhonbiley. “I would like to see this event getting bigger and growing.”

Kathryn Cacho is one of the many vendors who were stationed at the event. She is excited to bring her business back to Columbus Park, because she debuted her clothing collection exactly one year ago at the event.

It has become a great platform for her to display her products.

“I think it is really important, like especially in the Midwest where there’s not a lot of like culture around us,” said Cacho.

The festival was organized by Jackie Nguyen, the owner of Cafe Cà Phê, a Vietnamese coffee shop in the neighborhood. Nguyen took matters into her own hands after seeing no other celebrations for AAPI Heritage Month.

“I really hope that everyone who comes to AAPIconic today just learn something about our culture, whether that’s food, whether that’s our talent, whether that’s supporting small businesses that do exist within Kansas City,” Nguyen said.

She hopes events like this will encourage more open conversations among friends, family and coworkers. Perhaps it will instill more curiosity and eagerness to learn as well.

“There’s such a strong AAPI presence in Kansas City, but not often seen together in one place,” said visitor Patricia Bordallo Dibildox. “I think Columbus Park may be one of the places where you see it most condensed. So it’s cool to see all the business from around the city and people come out to celebrate.”

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