For the second year, Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation brings light, music, art and cultural festivities to the waterfront Chinese Reconciliation Park with the Tacoma Moon Festival. Tomorrow afternoon and evening the park will be filled with pan-Asian cultural fun, ranging from a lion dance and dragon boat salute to zodiac animal sculptures on yachts and performers from an array of Asian cultures.
Like last year’s inaugural festival, local artists have created papier-maché sculptures of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, which will float through the festival at 3 p.m. on boats from the Tacoma Yacht Club. Some of the four-foot-high sculptures by artists such as Donna Lough (the tiger), Becky Frehse (the horse), Jennevieve Schlemmer (the dog) and Elayne Vogel (the pig) will be for sale.
After the festival opens with a dragon boat salute and color guard, with an interfaith reconciliation circle and presentation by Mayor Marilyn Strickland, performances on three stages include a lion dance, hip hop from Fab-5, gospel, rock, Tahitian, hula and Filipino dance, the Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club, the Seattle Beijing Opera School, Mooncoyne Irish band, Koga Martial Arts, taichi, juggling, Japanese puppets and more. Tea ceremonies will occur through the afternoon, and a 7 p.m. lantern parade will close the festival, as the Moon Princess departs by boat.
“We are continuing to explore Tacoma’s many heritage groups and spreading out beyond the purely East/Southeast Asia area that we began with last year,” said co-organizer Greg Youtz. “This year the line-up also celebrates other groups who have chosen to settle in Tacoma: African Americans, Hispanics, Croatians, Scandinavians, Irish and Pacific Islanders…While memorializing the Chinese expulsion events of 1885, the park and the festival also celebrates Tacoma’s current rich mixture of all peoples living together in harmony.”
The Moon Festival runs from noon-8 p.m. Sept. 21. Free. Chinese Reconciliation Park, 1741 N. Schuster Parkway, Tacoma. For a complete schedule of events, see tacomachinesepark.org
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568 firstname.lastname@example.org