Filipino Festival

The fifth annual Filipino Festival is this Saturday, August 14. It highlights live music and cultural dance and promotes a respect for and appreciation of the Filipino heritage. And of course… the food!

Richmond’s local festivals have savvy web people — both the Greek Festival and this Saturday’s Filipino Festival ( have the targeted web domain for their festivals.

The fifth annual festival is this Saturday, August 14, from 10am to 8pm at Our Lady of Lourdes, located at 8200 Woodman Road in Glen Allen. The Catholic Church is a culturally diverse community of 1,200 families, a fact reflected in the festival itself. Admission is free. Last year, the festival drew approximately 5,000 people and organizers expect an increase of 30 percent this year.

The festival highlights live music and cultural dance and promotes a respect for and appreciation of the Filipino heritage. And of course… the food!

The packed entertainment schedule begins at 11am with performances of the American and Philippine National Anthems. Some highlights include the Philippine “Mardi Gras” led by the Aklan Ati-atihan of Virginia at 1pm, followed by the Filipino Variety Show at 1:30pm. Throughout the day, a medley of dances will be presented by the Pilipino Class (Philippine Language and Culture Class) and Our Lady of Lourdes students and young parishioners. Cooking with Imelda-Philippine Cuisine is at 3pm. Various non-Filipino bands will play from 5:30pm till close, including Houston Scott Band, Bluerock Band, and Five and Dimer.

The online food menu has photos for those who are unfamiliar with the dishes. There’s Lechón (suckling pig) over rice and Pork or Chicken Adobo (meat slow-cooked in a savory soy-vinegar-garlic sauce with rice) each for $5. I’m looking forward to the affordable side dishes for $3 — Lumpia is ground meat with carrots, herbs, and spices wrapped in crispy fried spring roll shells and Pancit is thin rice noodles with sautéed mixed vegetables and shredded chicken. Vendors round out the festival, including those showcasing Philippine crafts, books, and art.

Filipino Richmonder, Maria Clarke, who will be attending her third festival this year, proclaims, “I love the food. Oh and the Lechón! My husband, who is American, is craving it all the time. He wants to get his own spit and cook it at home. ” Clarke is grateful for the festival because of the chance to be with others of her heritage. “It feels like you are in a community. We’re able to speak our language.” She also enjoys the opportunity for Americans of all different backgrounds to mingle there.

Filipino Festival
Saturday, August 14
10am to 8pm
8200 Woodman Road
Glen Allen, Virginia

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Holly Gordon

Holly Gordon spends her days working with Richmond’s hearty nonprofit community and her nights singing in a community chorus. She loves her feminist book club, and is always distracted by shiny things.

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