4 Reasons Why I'm Pumped For This Year's Asian Festival

click to enlarge Do they have this in my size? - RICK CANFIELD
Rick Canfield
Do they have this in my size?

Maybe it's because I'm kind of a huge nerd or because UTSA happens to be my alma mater, but I'm a fan of the Institute of Texan Cultures. Moreover, I'm a fan of their events. The Folklife Festival is kitschy and fun; the newly added quarterly beer events are laid-back and chill and free(!); but the Asian Festival is by far my favorite. 

Now, while we can bitch and moan about parking (and yes, even I could be added to that list in year's past), things will be decidedly different this year. The addition of VIA Park and Ride service at Crossroads Mall will help keep bad parking options at bay. Service runs 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Find more details here. 

Second reason I'm amped? The addition of beer! Having to convince friends to join me whilst battling crowds and finding parking, etc. was usually hindered by the lack of beer and/or alcohol. This year, the festival will feature a beer booth with Kirin, Kirin Light, San Miguel, Asahi and Tiger brews. 

Numero tres: All the learning. For starters the museum is pretty open to visitors then, so if you're not soaking up information on all of the cultures represented, then  you're doing it right.

Give me all the noodles and no one gets hurt... - RICK CANFIELD
Rick Canfield
Give me all the noodles and no one gets hurt...

Four: The food. This being the Flavor blog and all, I'd be remiss not to mention the main reason I attend. As far as festivals go, the Asian Festival doubles as a smorgasbord. Where else can you get spam musubi (one of my favorite things ever), tangy chaat, Filipino lumpias, biryani, kimchi and samosas all in the same place? Prices are far from outrageous, you get lunch knocked out for the day and you didn't even have to leave downtown to take in all of these badass restaurants and options.

Organizations such as Aloha Entertainment, the Bangladeshi Association of San Antonio, Chinese Women's Club, India Association of SA, Japan America Society of SA, the Karilagan Philippine Cultural Group, Korean American Cultural Center of SA, the Pakistan Group, the SA Tea Garden, the San Antonio Lion Dance Association and the Taiwanese Association of America's SA Chapter all join forces to feed thousands of bellies. And we get special appearances by Tong's Thai, which commands it's own bubble tea booth, and the Jingu House at the Japanese Tea Garden with stir fries and more. In other words, come hungry. Find a complete list of food options here.