Siouxland Asian Festival Bringing Culture and Community Together

Culture and community has always been important to Peggy La. When she moved back to Sioux City, after six years in Des Moines, she knew she wanted to leave her mark using those two passions. 

This year, the Siouxland Asian Festival will celebrate its twelfth year, recognizing the diverse and culturally-rich Asian communities that call the city home. 

"I was born and raised in Sioux City," Peggy said. "When I lived in Des Moines, I was involved with CelebrAsian. I knew when I moved back that I wanted to do something in the community to give back." 

Using her experience from the Des Moines-area festival, Peggy set out to help her fellow community members celebrate and connect through the many Asian cultures present in the Sioux City area. 

"A lot of people move here from their home, they miss the food from home," she said. "Sioux City didn't have anything to recognize Asians, besides a multi-cultural fair. I wanted to focus on something more for Asians since we have so many countries represented in our city. The festival is a way to come here, to have more education on those communities here." 

The Siouxland Asian Festival includes aspects of many different cultures and ethnicities, including food, dance and music. This year, the family-friendly event is dedicated to the late George Sayavong, who helped create Asian Fest. 

Peggy's desire to bring Asian culture to the forefront of the community didn't end when she helped start the Siouxland Asian Festival. Instead, she does it everyday in her work as a REALTOR®. When she's not working at her family's grocery store - Hong Kong Super Market - she's assisting people in finding their dream homes. 

"Six years ago, I'd helped some families as a translator, and some said I should become a REALTOR®," Peggy, who is trilingual, recalls. "And I did. I enjoy connecting with people, helping them find their first home or their dream home." 

Peggy, who also serves on the state's Asian Pacific Islander Commission, isn't the only REALTOR® to elevate Asian culture in Sioux City. Daniel Nguyen currently serves as the DEI chair for the Northwest Iowa Regional Board of REALTORS® and has volunteered his time at the Siouxland Asian Festival for the past year. 

Daniel became a REALTOR® last May, and just two weeks later was helping to volunteer with other REALTORS® at the festival. This year, when his local board was looking for a DEI chair, he was quick to volunteer. 

"Now I've been helping to plan out what we're going to do at the festival," he said. "I've loved the festival. I've been in the past to just be there. You get to talk to more locally-owned businesses. It's just a great event to go to. You get to learn about Asian culture, the dragon dances, it's just a good way to learn more and see what is out there in the community." 

Both Peggy and Daniel encourage other REALTORS® to get involved in their communities, whether that's helping to elevate other cultures or in other ways. 

"For all my REALTOR® buddies, getting involved is the best you can do," Daniel said. "It's one of the most rewarding things. You should do it for the joy and passion you have in your heart. Give back to the community that gives to you." 

Peggy echoed those sentiments, noting that REALTORS® should immerse themselves in their communities. 

"Go to the temple or church, go to the events, make sure you're out there," she said. "Make your community see you out there. They might want to see a familiar face later on. It's a good way to connect."

The Siouxland Asian Festival takes place from 4 to  8 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 at Yummi Blox, 700 W 7th St. You can find more information about the event here. 

Festival Information

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