Japanese pan noodles, a traditional dish in Japan, were served during the festival.

On October 17, 2015, the 2nd annual Asian Festival was held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dozens of booths were open to the public, and many acts were to be performed. Japanese dancing, martial art showcases, and singing could be viewed  with no admission cost.  For Graciela Estrada (12) and Ethan Stroud (11),  the experience was new and impressionable.


The festival was very educational. Each booth represented a different country, where the country’s geography, entertainment, cuisine, and traditions were on display.


“The food was probably my favorite part”, said Ethan Stroud, “ I appreciated how authentic it was. We watched the families make it right in front of us. They were so gentle and caring with everything they did.”


Stroud believes this is why the food tasted better than almost any other he has even eaten.


For Estrada, the entertainment is what captivated her.


“ I have loved anime for years now. It’s so cute and beautiful. It makes me feel happy when I watch it. It was cool to see all of the art and other stuff they had for sale,” said Estrada.


The festival was also a time of firsts for both students. Estrada also got her first henna tattoo from an Indian artist.


Estrada said, “ She was so careful. I could tell that she was experienced. It makes me want to get so many more in the future.”


The cultural festival appealed in ways that left an impression on the students.  “ I had a really good time and really good company, and I’m going to remember this experience for long time,” said Stroud.