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Local pols announce Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration

Celebrating diversity: Assemblyman Peter Abbate, center, and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, right of center, joined members of the Brooklyn Community Improvement Association at its Sunset Park offices on April 26 to announce plans to celebrate Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

They’re doing it for the culture.

Local politicians gathered in Sunset Park on April 26 to announce plans to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a daylong outdoor cultural celebration next month.

The free May 19 event will highlight the importance of honoring Kings County’s various cultural communities, according to state Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge).

“Our diversity is our strength. Events like these bring the community together to celebrate the cultures, traditions, and history that make southern Brooklyn so special,” Gounardes said.

Gounares joined Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Bensonhurst) and members of the Brooklyn Community Improvement Association, a local do-good group, at the organization’s offices on 57th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues to announce the event, which they will host with Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge).

The festivities will take place at Leif Ericson Park — located at 66th Street and Eighth Avenue — from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will feature a traditional Chinese Lion dance, Tai chi and Taekwondo demonstrations, and Korean K-Pop performances, according to information from Gounardes’ office.

Brannan said the event will offer locals a chance to come together and take part in Asian cultural traditions.

“We are excited to celebrate Asian cultures and keep our community together,” Brannan said.

Congress in 1992 designated May as Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the completion of the transcontinental railroad — which stretched from Nebraska to California and was built by mostly Chinese immigrant workers — on May 10, 1869.

Brooklyn Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration at Leif Ericson Park (66h St. at Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park). May 19, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@schnepsmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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