Asian American Festival and First Thursday

By Robert Bernstein

As I write this it is almost time for First Thursday. The last First Thursday was especially interesting because it included the Asian American Festival! That event is usually held during the day at the Presidio.

Here are my photos, videos and program from this special evening of events.

Our first stop was The Domecíl Shop in Victoria Court which hosted cellist Kate Mendenhall and violinist Kristine Pacheco playing a mix of classical, Spanish and jazz.
We then strolled State Street and met some of our Swing Dance friends Chizuko, Ava and Lee Ann.Sullivan Goss is always one of our favorite places during the First Thursday art walk. They have always featured top quality modern art, but even more than in the past they are also featuring some older pieces. Here are a few samples.As we continued down State Street we encountered a mini-parade of World Dance for Humanity performers publicizing their annual Thriller performances.While not a part of First Thursday, I was intrigued by this scene of the Apple Store window.It was difficult to divide our time, but we hurried down to the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation at 15 East de la Guerra Street to catch the Asian American Neighborhood Festival. One reason for choosing this location is the history of the Asian community that once thrived in this area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of you may remember Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens as a piece of that history. Jimmy’s daughter Frances is one of my favorite swing dance partners.

We arrived just in time for Hula Anyone to perform hula dancing.

This was followed by the UCSB break dancing group You See Us Breaking (get it?) doing some fancy moves.

The grand finale was another UCSB group SS805 doing K-Pop Korean styled dancing.

Ending with this striking pose.One final bit before we left was a very brief visit to the Santa Barbara Visual Fine Art Gallery in Paseo Nuevo just as they were closing. This photograph in a sacred area of Burma caught our attention.This was a very special First Thursday. But every First Thursday is enjoyable and worth attending! Be sure to check here for the latest upcoming events!


Written by sbrobert

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