Festival celebrates Hawaiian culture

 Keaii’s Polynesian Spectaular performer Catherine Iwashita dances for a crowd at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center during the Pacific Heights Express Aloha Festival of Central Texas in 2008. 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month takes center stage in the Central Texas area during the Central Texas Asian Pacific Festival on Saturday at the Killeen Community Center from noon to 8 p.m.

The event will feature over 22 cultural and traditional performances from a dozen countries on different stages, family fun entertainment, martial arts demonstrations, vendors, a wide variety of foods and more.

The event is free and open to the public with the purpose of showcasing the sights, sounds and unique cultures of the Asian Pacific people in the Central Texas region. All performers are unpaid volunteers coming from as far as San Antonio.

“We want to have fun and we want this event to be free,” said Elisha Tiliaia, director for the Central Texas Asian Pacific Festival, “It’s also an opportunity to educate our community about the Asian and Pacific cultures. Our community here is really big for Asian and Pacific people in Fort Hood and the surrounding area. But that is why a lot of our dance groups don’t only teach dancing, but also how a lot of us were raised on the islands and the island traditions. Because if we all understand our cultures and our upbringing, it makes us all get along better.”

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