Best of the Bay 2013: BEST BURST OF PAN-ASIAN PRIDE

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In 1973, Japantown's Nihonmachi Street Fair was devised along the lines of community protest — in the face of sweeping neighborhood redevelopment, the celebration of Japanese heritage was a line in the sand, a declaration that one of SF's unique neighborhoods would not be erased by the vagaries of urban renewal. (Nihonmachi means, roughly, "Japantown.") Forty years later, it is an enduring statement of the power of community, and the festival considers itself a representation of the Pan-Asian cultural experience in San Francisco. During the early August weekend of Nihonmachi, awesome food, unique crafts, and musical performances fill the streets, and Asian traditions like the Chinese Lion Dance, Hawaiian music, and Filipino acrobatics fill the stages. An estimated 30,000 people attended this year — fest organizers wager they were largely first-time fans of this neighborhood triumph, which only confirms the community's deepening roots.

www.nihonmachistreetfair.org

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