New Yorkers and tourists visiting the Big Apple will once again have a chance next weekend to experience Taiwan without having to make the trek halfway around the world.
The annual Passport to Taiwan festival (台灣巡禮), sponsored by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York and organized by the Taiwanese overseas community, is scheduled to kick off May 24 on Long Island and will travel around New York, ending on May 28 in Albany, the state capital.
The festival, now in its twelfth year, will feature a variety of performances, including Taiwanese pop music and traditional aboriginal dances, and will showcase the diverse array of cuisine for which Taiwan is justly famous.
At the May 25 Union Square event, which is free and open to the public, around 60 vendors are expected to attend. There will also be a raffle for a free airplane ticket to Taiwan.
New York’s Passport to Taiwan falls during Taiwanese American Heritage Week, passed by the US Congress in 1999 to honor the contributions of Taiwanese-Americans. West coast cities like Los Angeles, home to many overseas Taiwanese, also have similar events lined up this weekend.
This year’s festival in New York will feature performances by Takao Run (打狗亂歌團), a Greater Kaohsiung-based troupe that fuses traditional Taiwanese music with contemporary pop; Patas (巴達思), a dance group from Taiwan’s aboriginal Atayal tribe; Sun of the Morning (晨曦光廊), a Taiwanese alternative rock band and OVDS, a Taiwanese drum and bass electro-house act.
In addition to musical performances, champions from several Taiwanese culinary contests are slated to be on hand in Union Square to demonstrate a range of their talents, including the art of food carving.
What: Passport to Taiwan
When: May 24 through May 28
Where: May 24, Vajiradhammapadip Buddhist Temple and Thai Cultural Center, 110 Rustic Road, Centereach, New York. Begins at 6pm. Performances by Takao Run and Patas.
May 25, Union Square, 14th Street, Manhattan, New York. From noon to 5pm. Performances by Takao Run, Patas, Sun of the Morning and OVDS. Also attending are members of the 2014 North American Regional Taiwanese Cuisine and Culinary Arts Lecture Tour.
May 27, Institute of Culinary Education, 50 West 23rd Street, New York. Begins at 7pm. Participants include members of the 2014 North American Regional Taiwanese Cuisine and Culinary Arts Lecture Tour. Contact ICE at (212) 847-0700 for more information.
May 28: The Egg, Empire State Plz Concourse, Albany, New York. Begins at 7pm. Performances by Takao Run.
Admission: May 24 outdoor performances are free; tickets for evening performances are US$25; May 25 event is free; May 27 tickets are US$50 each and the event on May 28 is free but tickets are required (www.theegg.org/event/takao-run-band)
On the Net: p2tw.org