Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Asia Fest: New Name, Same Dragon Boat Races

Cary, NC – For the past few years, people from around the Triangle have come to Cary for the Dragon Boat Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. This year, the festival has rebranded to reflect all of the communities and cultures participating in this annual celebration.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre

New Features at Annual Festival

Asia Fest, presented by Asian Focus NC, takes place Saturday, September 28, 2019, starting at 11 AM. The festival still includes the dragon boat races but Scott Lee, with Asian Focus NC, said they had been thinking about the best way to portray the festival.

“It’s more than just the race,” Lee said. “We have a variety of ethnicities at the festival, in both the performances and the booths.”

Asia Fest includes cultures from around the Asian continent, stretching from China to Turkey, including India, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and more. Additionally, this year adds Taiwanese exhibits, with treats such as shaved ice and moon cakes and Taiwanese games.

“This year, we are also focusing on our night market,” Lee said, with 70 booths around Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

Another new addition this year is an interactive cooking demonstration where the audience can try making traditional jung zi dumplings and eggrolls.

And for visitors to the festival, this year is also adding a special group rate for purchasing tickets.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Growing Festival

Asia Fest, then known as the Dragon Boat Festival, started in 2014 and at that time, there were 45 booths, 14 dragon boat racing teams and about 28 performers.

This year, there are close to 50 performers from a variety of cultures, there are 22 teams and booths have maxed out at 70, including 18 food vendors.

“We also have sites for health, culture and other special exhibitions,” Lee said.

Asia Fest takes place Saturday, September 28, 2019, starting at 11 AM, at Koka Booth Amphitheatre at 8003 Regency Pkwy.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre


Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Asian Focus NC and Fire Rose Photography.

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