When: Sat., Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 2019
From humble beginnings as a family affair timed with Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year), the Institute of Texan Cultures’ Asian Festival has grown into a sprawling celebration that unites dozens of organizations for a day filled with diverse cuisine, eclectic vendors and enlightening demonstrations. In its 32nd year, the kid-friendly favorite observes the year of the pig (or boar) — a beast that represents wealth, but also a lack of urgency as the 12th and final zodiac animal to arrive at a storied fete for the Jade Emperor. (Some believe the pig was dealing with a domestic situation — a wolf destroying his house — others claim it was tardy to the party due to plain-and-simple laziness.) While pigs will inevitably be spotted on Asian Festival signs and souvenirs aplenty, they’ll possibly be best enjoyed cooked up by more than 20 food booths serving specialties from China, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Korea and beyond. Beyond the bulgogi, ramen, teriyaki dishes and bubble tea (not to mention beer and sake flowing from an “Asian Libation Station”), fest-goers can expect anime, ikebana and bonsai exhibits, high-energy martial-arts demos and performances that run the gamut from K-pop concerts to lion dancers on parade.