Asian and Pacific Islander Festival comes to Bohol Circle Park

Phong Chung  -- The first PAL in the Parks of the year will present the Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage & Culture Festival.
Phong Chung -- The first PAL in the Parks of the year will present the Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage & Culture Festival.

Asian and Pacific Islander Festival comes to Bohol Circle Park

PAL in the Parks returns this summer with an incredible lineup of music and dance from around the world! Performance, Art & Learning “PAL” in the Parks brings people of all ages together to experience and explore music, dance, visual art and educational opportunities through a series of family-friendly festivals and concerts in Alameda’s city parks. The series launches on May 20 with an afternoon-long Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage & Culture Festival at the new Bohol Circle Immigrant Park. This exciting afternoon features music, dance and food from the Philippines, Hawaii, Tahiti, Vietnam and more along with hands-on art activities for kids.

The festival invites visitors to embark on a captivating journey through the rich heritage and vibrant traditions of Asian and Pacific Islander communities. This celebration brings together a kaleidoscope of performances, showcasing the captivating rhythms, melodies, and dances from the Philippines, Hawaii, Tahiti, Vietnam, and more. Experience the enchanting sounds of Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, who masterfully blends Vietnamese traditional instruments with new music, creating a unique auditory experience. Be enchanted by the Manilatown Kulintang Ensemble, as they transport you to the Southern Philippines through their mesmerizing music and dance performances. Immerse yourself in the spirit of the islands with Hālau Makana, presenting the beautiful music and dance traditions of Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Māori cultures.

In addition to the performances, the API Arts & Culture Festival offers engaging hands-on art activities for attendees. The Alameda Education Foundation will share Chinese character drawing, where participants of all ages can immerse themselves in the art of Chinese calligraphy and explore the beauty

of this ancient writing system. Swings and Wings (an indoor sensory-based play place in Alameda for kids between six months to eight years) invites participants to delight their senses in the multicultural sensory bin, create colorful salt rangoli, and print beautiful patterns with Indian block stamping.

Indulge your taste buds with a diverse array of flavors and culinary delights offered by the food vendors between performances! Chef Hits the Streets brings the spirit of aloha to the festival grounds, offering mouthwatering Hawaiian Poke. Immerse yourself in the tastes of the islands as you savor the fresh, vibrant ingredients and the unique blend of flavors that define traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Ayubōwan invites you to sample authentic cuisines of Sri Lanka. Experience the rich spices and exotic ingredients that make Sri Lankan dishes a true delight for the senses. Whether you're a food enthusiast or simply looking to tantalize your taste buds, these food vendors offer an opportunity to experience the rich and diverse flavors of the Asian and Pacific Islander cultures represented at the festival.

Grab your family, friends, and a blanket for the lawn as you join Rhythmix and Alameda Recreation and Parks Department for API Heritage & Culture Festival, Saturday, May 20 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Alameda’s new Bohol Circle Park. RSVP for this FREE event at, and you’ll also get a chance to win an Intro SUP lesson from Mike's Paddle in Alameda!

PAL in the Parks is presented by Rhythmix Cultural Works and the City of Alameda’s Recreation and Parks Department. PAL in the Parks API and Hispanic Heritage Festivals are co-produced by Forward

Alameda with additional support from the City of Alameda’s Public Art Commission and featured event sponsor, Radium Presents.

Colin Epstein is a Program Associate at Rhythmix Cultural Works.