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Knox Asian Festival celebrates 10 years of cuisine, performances and culture

The festival featured sumo wrestlers, food from around Asia, custom Asian attire and demonstrations of different countries' traditions.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Saturday, crowds gathered in World's Fair Park for a celebration of Asian culture and cuisine. It was the tenth annual Knox Asian Fest.

Kumi Alderman, the executive director of the Asian culture center of Tennessee, helps organize the Knoxville Asian Fest and spent a lot of her life as a tour guide in Asia.

"I saw a lot of different cultures and it made me a more open person and it made me want to bring that culture to here," she said.

She says in the ten years that she has helped host the event, the city has welcomed the festival with open arms.

"They love it," she said. "The food is good and the performances are fun, especially like today because we have the sumos coming."

One of those sumo wrestlers was Ramy, from Egypt, who competed in the World Sumo Championships.

"The sport is very much about respect, honor and respecting your opponent," said Ramy.

He says that he loves traveling to new places to perform and enjoys the crowd's excitement when being introduced to the sport.

"It makes me feel like what we're doing makes a difference in people's lives," said Ramy. 

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon spoke at the event and said that events like these are one of the main attractions of the city.

"We have people from all over the world who call Knoxville home, they come for jobs and education but also stay because of the cultural amenities that we offer," said Kincannon. 

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