Daley Plaza hosts Asian American Festival

May 18, 2009 (CHICAGO) For the next week, the Asian American Festival will be at Daley Plaza. The festival's main goal is to enhance the image and increase visibility of Asian Americans in the Chicago area.

"This is our eleventh year. So far over the years we have gone from a two day celebration to a five day celebration. So I guess we are moving ... up," said Jelly Carandang.

The first Asians to arrive in Chicago were Chinese railroad workers in the 1870's. Since then the population has slowly grown -- until now. There are more than 10 different Asian American groups in the Chicago area with a population of more than half a million. That's something to celebrate.

As is the food-- Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Pakistani, Thai, Vietnamese; you can get it all in Chicago. And right now you can get it all in Daley Plaza.

"Because we marinate in coconut milk, curry and seasonings ... Thai seasonings and then serve it with our special peanut sauce," said Eddie Duly, owner, Star of Siam. "That makes it Thai."

"It is authentic Indian food and we are promoting Indian culture and Indian food," said Mumbaz Rzvi. "We have curry. Lots of spice."

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, visit http://aacchicago.org/festival_09.htm