The annual Asian Festival is held on Memorial Day Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, celebrating the heritage of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Visitors of the event, held in Franklin Park, are entertained with Asian music, dance, interactive art demonstration, Tai chi, martial arts, games, and excellent food. There are a special children's area, a job fair and a market place with dozens of vendors. Showcasing cultural diversity the festival has proved to be a big success since its inaugural year of 1995. The Asian Festival attracts about 100,000 attendees every year.
Dragon Boat race at Westbank Park is the major highlight of the Asian Festival. It started in 2010 with just two boats and two teams and has grown into more than 20 competing crews. Dozens of volunteers and supporters of the Asian Festival help to stage the event. A dragon boat is a long canoe decorated with a dragon head and a dragon tail. A drummer sits on the front setting the rhythm and directing the paddlers. A steersman in the rear end guides the boat. When puddlers stir in unison it resembles a dragon flying over the water, hence its name.