Nihonmachi Street Fair Celebrating 45 Years

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Nihonmachi Street Fair considers itself the original “melting pot” of street fairs, with many aspects of Asian Pacific American life — and San Francisco’s cultural life — expressed through performance, tradition, art, music, food, and community outreach and service.

It is continually evolving to reflect the city it celebrates while staying true to its original idea: to use this event as a platform to mentor Asian Pacific American youths and foster their leadership and communication skills through volunteerism and community service. The fair is produced, staffed, and organized by volunteers, thus providing practical, hands-on experience in collaboration, entrepreneurship, and problem solving.

This year’s fair will be held on the weekend of August 4 and 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Japantown (Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore streets). Bring the entire family even your “fur baby” for two full days of activities, performances and just good fun.

The Nihonmachi Street Fair is proud of its 45-year history in serving the community through education, service, and youth mentorship.

This year’s highlights:

The Art & Soul of J-Town is a new feature that brings together and showcases the many artists in the diverse APA communities. It is also an opportunity for these communities to bring their voices and creativity together, celebrating unity in diversity through spoken word, poetry and art. This Art & Soul of J-Town is dedicated in the memory of poet and community activist Peter K. Yamamoto. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• The Asian Artisan area has welcomed a wide variety of artistic talent from all over the Bay Area and beyond. Many of the artisans, like Waka Ozawa, Pomegranate Designs, Kayoko Designs, Creative Accents and Fabrications have been participating at the Nihonmachi Street Fair for over 20 years. You’ll find a great selection of hand-made crafts, all created with an artistic eye. It’s a great opportunity to meet the artist and ask questions about their craft.

• The fifth annual Asian American Adult Invitational Co-Ed Basketball Tournament will be held at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. Basketball has always brought our communities together through Asian American leagues throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Teamwork and camaraderie, mixed in with good spirited competition, are the main goal of these games. The players, their families and friends not only participate in this competition, but also create new friendships as well as supporting the Nihonmachi Street Fair. Saturday from 9 am.. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children’s World enables families to engage their little ones in Asian-inspired crafts and test their skills in fun games. It’s also a great way to introduce children to this important community event and encourage them to come back to volunteer when they get older. The Children’s World area works together with the Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen and Court, who continue to volunteer their time at various community events.

• At Doggie World, the Buchanan Mall will be a special gathering place for the four-legged members of our community to join in on the fun. Local animal experts and adoption agencies will also be on hand to offer tips and information. Also there will be Doggie World vendors selling a variety of items, and nonprofit organizations that provide services for animal health and welfare. Part of the proceeds from Doggie World will be donated to local animal rescue organizations. Sunday only from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; seventh annual Doggie World Parade at 1 p.m.

• At the Food Fest, you’ll get a chance to experience comfort food while supporting local nonprofits and businesses. From teri-burgers to adobo, okonomiyaki to waffles, there’s something for everyone.

• At the Sounds of Thunder Car Show, you’ll be able to see close-up fabulous muscle cars from back in the day. A great way to share your love of vintage cars and also learn more about these American classics. Approximately 10 to 15 cars will be showcased both days.

Kona Brewing Co. Webster Street Stage has presented top-notch entertainers such as Azteca, Hiroshima, the Bay Area’s Pete Escovedo and Sheila E, Jorge Santana, and much more. Sit back and let the music — from hip-hop to reggae, jazz to bluegrass — groove you.

Clear Channel Outdoor Stage at Peace Plaza features a diverse cultural line-up of performers that will include Hawaiian music and dance, Japanese dance, and much more. Take a seat and take in the sounds of the Bay Area’s APA communities.

For more information, visit http://nihonmachistreetfair.org.

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