Fiesta Filipino takes over Kleman Plaza

Hundreds gathered at Kleman Plaza on Saturday for the seventh annual Fiesta Filipino (Pista Sa Nayon). The festival featured an array of Filipino cuisine, music, martial arts, dancing, and shopping.

The Fiesta Filipino is a cultural event that showcases the beloved traditions and customs of the Filipino community. The event has grown to be one of Tallahassee’s favorites.

With food booths that consisted of traditional Filipino pastries, frozen foods, and clothing, the event proved to be successful.

Dinah Johnson, vice-president of the Big Bend Filipino American Association (BBFAA) said the event was meant to share the Filipino culture with the Tallahassee community.

“We wanted to invite the public to come and enjoy the food, see the cultural dances and experience the Filipino culture in Tallahassee,” said Johnson.

The BBFAA continues to be innovative and create new ways to engage the public.

“We are always growing. Last year, we started the Filipino dessert contest,” said Johnson. “With this event, you can be a judge for $5 or enter a dessert entry and win cash prizes.”

Along with the Filipino dessert contest, other vendors sold jewelry, furniture, clothing and hosted educational exhibits.

Among the individuals who attended the festival this year was Jasmyne Arnold, who heard about the event from her mother, and decided that she wanted to see what it was all about.

Arnold said the experience was something new and she enjoyed learning about the culture.

“My favorite part so far is the food,” said Arnold. “But I love learning about their culture and experiencing something new.”

Arnold said she will be attending the festival next year.

While some enjoyed the cultural experience, FSU student Brooke Slade was excited to try the food.

“I’m so hungry and all of this food looks really good,” said Slade. “I want to try everything. Those ribs look good and some ice cream.”

The festival also featured live demonstrations of Filipino martial arts and dancers who invited people to join in on the fun.

The live shows were a crowd favorite.

“The entertainment is a very important part of this event. There are so many cultural dances and food,” said Johnson. “It’s great to see so many people that aren’t Filipino enjoying the event and culture.”

The festival has undoubtedly become a staple in the capital city and organizers of the event are sure it will be for many years to come.