Every May, Asian Americans of New Orleans hold a festival at the Audubon Zoo celebrating their culture and heritage, one that dates back thousands of years. The Asian Heritage Festival features music indigenous to the individual nations, accompanied by graceful dancers in kimonos and other colorful attire.
Visitors also enjoy authentic Asian dishes and hand-made crafts from India, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and other Asian countries. Performances throughout the day include the lion dance (Vietnam), Bollywood dances (India), Taiwan Tea Dance, Hula dances and lessons (Hawaii) and Chinese dancers. There is also a fashion show and martial arts demonstrations.
You are also encouraged to visit the Audubon Zoo’s Asia exhibit, which includes an expansive habitat for elephants Jean and Panya, white tigers, orangutans and barasingha deer and more.
The Asian Pacific American Society of New Orleans maintains a website to keep members and others aware of events happening in the community, as well as a database of demographic information and local resources. To learn more about the society and the local Asian Pacific Islander Community go to www.apasneworleans.com.
The Asian Heritage Festival is free with admission to the zoo