Arts & Culture

Moon Festival bringing Chinese tea experiences to Reconciliation Park

Kris Delicana and others from Kaimiola’s Polynesian Dancers perform in the pagoda at the Tacoma Moon Festival in 2012.
Kris Delicana and others from Kaimiola’s Polynesian Dancers perform in the pagoda at the Tacoma Moon Festival in 2012. Staff file, 2012

After a year’s break, the Tacoma Moon Festival is coming back Saturday in Reconciliation Park on Tacoma’s waterfront. The free festival features lion dancers, Chinese opera, tea, Tibetan beer and more.

The festival, which was first organized several years ago by the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation, brings Asian art and traditions to the waterfront park that was built to honor Chinese Tacomans expelled from the city in 1885. After taking a hiatus last year because of construction in the park, the free festival is back for the fourth time in more condensed form, 2-6 p.m. Saturday.

This year, the focus is tea — specifically, the idea of a tea house and the associated tea drinking, snacks and live entertainment. Performers include the Mak Fai lion/dragon dancers (2:25 p.m.), a Korean drumming group (2:50 p.m.), the Tacoma Kabuki Academy (3.25 p.m.), Cambodian classical dance (4 p.m.), storytelling (4:35 p.m.) and the Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club.

There will be activities for kids and appearances on the water by the Tacoma Dragon Boat Association. A tea house will serve teas and moon cakes, while the wine and beer garden focuses on local brewers, with Wingman Brewing making a special Tibetan “Chang” (barley beer) and Vino Aquino bringing a Moon Festival wine. Bicycle rickshaws will offer transportation from parking areas along the waterfront.

The festival will close at 6 p.m. with a lantern parade led by the “Moon Princess.”

Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568, @rose_ponnekanti

Tacoma Moon Festival

When: 2-6 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Chinese Reconciliation Park, 1741 Schuster Parkway, Tacoma.

Cost: Free.

Information: tacomachinesepark.org.

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