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19th Annual SWFL AsiaFest is ready to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit

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Posted at 11:26 PM, Feb 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-10 23:28:13-05

NAPLES, Fla. — AsiaFest is back for its 19th year in 2023, also known as the Year of the Rabbit Celebration, and the Asian Professional Association of Southwest Florida is inviting you to celebrate.

From cuisine to traditional dances, cultural pageantry parades, Japanese drummers, Lion dances and more — this event is meant to share the Asian American Pacific Islander culture with you.

This community only makes up about 2% of Southwest Florida's population according to the event's organizer, Pearl Cruiz-Morrison. "Education is key. Because even myself, like as a little kid, I've always assumed that anyone looks Asian was Chinese or Japanese, that was the only two countries." Sharing several of the APPI cultures, while keeping security top of mind.

We spoke quickly about security and if the organization is worried since the mass shooting at a Lunar New Year event in California. Cruiz-Morrison said, "We have the Collier County Sheriff's Office. And we also have the Collier County Fire Department — those are the things we feel [should be] out of sight, out of mind."

The event organizers are also certified in crowd management in case of an emergency and lightheartedly, Pearl says that many of those working and performing in the festival are also certified in mixed martial arts. "So in a humorous way, you know, anything goes wrong, we got people that are ready to defend us."

Confident in the safety of this event, the Asian Professional Association of Southwest Florida invites you to attend this free event for all. The event is taking place at Mercato in Naples starting at 11am with Japanese drummers.

Click here for directions and more information on this event.