UPTOWN — The first annual Thai Food Festival will bring authentic Thai eats and music to Irving Park Road this weekend.
The Thai-American Restaurant Association will host the festival featuring authentic food from Thai restaurants across Chicago in the Thorek Memorial Hospital parking lot at 851 W. Irving Park Road from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, according to the event's Facebook page.
Organized by Komane Purananda, president of the Thai-American Restaurant Association, his daughter Jan Purananda and Dew Suriyawan, owner of Immm Rice & Beyond in Uptown, the festival will include a dozen restaurants each producing four different dishes. Komane Puranda runs Sticky Rice, 4018 N. Western Ave., and Sweet Rice, 1746 N. Western Ave.
"My father has always had this vision of doing a Thai food festival. There have been Thai festivals before, but they were always small, downtown and during the work week," Jan Purananda said. "He wanted to do something to help the Thai businesses [and] community, where a lot of people can come to easily."
Participating restaurants include: Rainbow Thai Manee Thai, Kinnaree Thai Kitchen, Spoon Thai, Miss Asia, Star of Siam, Cilantro Thai Kitchen, Immm Rice & Beyond, Nine Thai Cuisine, Sticky Rice Northern Thai Cuisine, Sweet Rice and JJ Thai Street Food. Next year they hope to add more restaurants from across Chicago, she said.
The schedule of events includes a Klong Yao parade, classical dancing, Muay Thai demonstrations, a Thai silk fashion show, The Manora dance demonstration, food demonstrations and a kids fashion show, Jan Purananda said. The festival will end with a live performance from Wong Rue Tai on Saturday and Z Bear on Sunday.
Participants will be asked to give a donation upon entering the fest.
[Thai Food Festival]