East meets West at annual cultural festival

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McKinley Park mixer: Ladies from the Zhaoxia Dancing Group show off some Korean folk dance moves at the festival.
Twirling skirts: Young OK Hong of the Korean Traditional Culture Center performs a folk dance.
Extra spicy: Xinyue Chao serves up some traditionally prepared chicken wings at the event.
Having a ball: Katrina and Sebastian Kuang of Midwood came to Bay Ridge for the party honoring Asian culture.

Traditional dancers jumped and spun, Buddhist monks showed off their kung fu moves, and cooks served up tasty plates of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese food at the ninth annual Asian-Pacific Heritage Festival on May 6.

McKinley Park between Seventh Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway in Dyker Heights turned into a showcase of the best Brooklyn’s growing Asian-American community has to offer, thanks to the efforts of state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and the cultural group, the Chinese-American Partnership.

Golden spokesman John Quaglione said the senator’s office got the permits to make the festival possible and helped put together the dance presentations to remind Brooklynites that May is Asian-Pacific Heritage month.

“We think it’s important to connect the culture where many originate from in our community and celebrate their background, and their becoming Americans,” Quaglione said.

Helping Golden along was Chinese-American Partnership boardmember Julissa Chin, who reached out to local restaurants for food for the event. Chin said she made sure to include all kinds of Asian cuisine.

“I’m Chinese, but the name is Asian heritage, and I would like to everybody to try the different foods,” said Chin. “We want more people to know about all of Asia.”

Chin said she hopes the festival will expand and move on to a larger venue as Brooklyn’s Asian-American community continues to swell.

“McKinley Park is really good, but we would like to go bigger so more people will come. I want it to be better every year,” said Chin.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at!/WillBredderman
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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