The theme for this year is "Embracing Asia". The AARC hopes to surpass last years attendance of 10,000. On a beautiful Fall day like today, I'm sure they'll have no problem attracting the crowds.
I arrived early. There were several corporate picnics and family reunions at the park today, and parking can be a nightmare. Atlanta traffic is legendary, but once you get into the park the noise of the city feels like it is miles away.
Stone Mountain Park
is located less than 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta. It is owned by the State of Georgia and run by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. Its claim to fame is the large granite dome or pluton. The 'mountain' is actually a massive rock formation made up of granite and quartz. It is the largest exposed rock formation in the country.
On the face is the Confederate Memorial. The carving depicts the three Civil War Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis (the President of the Confederacy), Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. As large as three football fields wide and four hundred feet above ground, it is the largest bas relief sculpture in the world.
What a beautiful venue for this event. Vendors, musicians, dancers, martial arts demonstrations are just a few of the participants today. I was a little early so there wasn't much food out yet. But it was a good time with so much to see.
On the grandstand, the Vietnamese Student Association from Georgia State University performs a traditional hat dance to "Loi Ve Xom Nho", a song about the beauty of the countryside.
The Japanese Consulate had a booth promoting tourism and information on the JET program and there were several booths with students raising money for the Tsunami victims in Japan. I couldn't resist buying a T-Shirt!
For more information on the Asian American Resource Center
, check out their web site. They offer educational services, housing and cultural support for the Asian community in Metro Area. Their on-going effort provides job training, civics and interview training in preparation for citizenship exams and a host of other services to maintain stability and quality of life to the community.