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Brad Hoang hangs one of several hundred origami cranes in a tree at Parc International in preparation for the Lunar New Year Festival Friday, February 1, 2019, in downtown Lafayette, La. The free festival, happening Saturday, is the first public Lunar New Year event held in Lafayette and will offer games, entertainment, food and drink, and lessons on how to make the origami cranes.

The Asian Chamber of Commerce of Acadiana will hold its Lunar New Year Festival Saturday at Parc International to showcase cultures and traditions of the Lunar New Year across Asia.

The festival will have arts and crafts, food and artisan vendors and musical and dance performances. The cultures of India, Thailand, Japan, China and Vietnam will be on display to ring in the Year of the Pig. Activities are scheduled for 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and performances start at 11 a.m. and run throughout the day.

"It's going to be a very cohesive festival," event chair Peter Pham said. "I wanted to make sure everything ties together to the Lunar New Year and Asian culture and tradition. Each vendor will have Asian-inspired dishes and products. We essentially wanted to give the people of Acadiana a tour of the different Asian cultures and traditions there are for the Lunar New Year."

The chamber held its first Asian Lunar New Year Festival as a ticketed private event last year, but Pham said the group realized it wasn't getting its activities out to the public. The group then decided to hold it at Parc Lafayette and make it open to the public.

The event will also have booths teaching how to decorate pig masks, make origami and paper lanterns and draw in the anime style. Local Asian food vendors including Blu Basil, Katsu Ramen, Casian Cuisine and Southfin Southern Poke will also be there.

The event will also include performances and fashion shows displaying the traditional dress, music and martial arts of various parts of Asia and the Cajun Invasion Dragon Boat Team showing off its dragon boat.

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Business Reporter