POMONA - Sights, sounds and scents of Asia are permeating the Fairplex in Pomona this weekend during the 32nd Annual Asian American Expo.
With hundreds of vendors, three large food courts and entertainment ranging from Korean pop music to Japanese Taiko drummers, the event offers guests a tour of the Asian continent right here in Southern California.
More than 100,000 people attend the Asian American Expo each year, organizers said.
"I've already eaten twice," said Romulo Moreno of Hacienda Heights as he took a breather and waited for his wife, Monica Shaio, and daughter 10-year-old Vivian Moreno, to return from shopping at the vendors' booths.
He kept watch over several bags of bargains his wife and daughter had already found.
"Somebody has to stay back and hold them," he said.
Romulo Moreno said his family enjoyed the unique items and good prices available at the expo.
As far as the food, he said Saturday he tried lobster balls, egg rolls, beef noodles milk tea and iced coffee.
Romulo and his wife said they've been attending the expo for the past five years.
Four buildings inside the Fairplex were packed with vendors and exhibits, ranging from health care products to cookware.
Seven stages were set up throughout the exposition, providing a nonstop parade of entertainment. Some performers were professionals, while others were local youths.
Chris Ordonez of Pomona and his wife, Sandra Ordonez, said they've been coming to the Asian American Expo together for the past three years.
"But I've been coming since I was a kid," Sandra Ordonez said.
The attraction, she said, is the free samples, vendors and entertainment.
But additionally, "It's because of the culture," Sandra Ordonez said. I just want to keep going and support the Asian culture."
She recommended the Takoyaki sold at one of the food court vendors. The dish is a fried dough ball containing octopus, among other ingredients.
"It's sweet and salty," she said.
On one stage, young members of Advance Martial Arts in Rowland Heights demonstrated their skills in the martial arts form Wushu. Some performed techniques empty-handed, while others showed their speed and prowess with traditional weapons such as swords and staffs.
"This is exciting," Jovita Phan of Temple City said, as he watched the young martial artists with his sister, Novita Phan.
The Asian American Expo "is all about celebrating, building dialogue between the booming Asian and U.S. markets," organizers said in a written statement.
It comes ahead of the Lunar New Year Feb. 10, celebrated by people in many Asian countries.