The Issaquah Highlands’ annual Mid-Autumn Festival, an all ages event celebrating the harvest moon and the harvest season, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 8.
From 4 to 6 p.m., Blakely Hall Community Center will be filled with moon cakes, lanterns, arts and crafts, prizes, riddles, a photobooth, traditional food, games, music and performances.
Held by the Highlands Council, in conjunction with the Chinese Heritage Club, the event is put on by a committee of volunteers as well as community program manager Lindsey Pinkston.
Previously, the Highlands’ Chinese Heritage Club had been putting on a similar event called a “Moon Cake Festival” for several years. Now, the event has been renamed to include the multiple cultures that celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, which is widely celebrated in both China and Vietnam.
“We are really trying to be more inclusive of cultures and celebrate the diverse cultures of Issaquah Highlands,” Pinkston said. “Everything is designed to share the culture of the event and how it is celebrated in different countries.”
The educational event is mainly about celebrating the moon, Pinkston said, and as such the games and foods and activities will all follow a moon and lantern theme.
One main feature of the event is a lantern-making craft because, traditionally, people celebrate the holiday with lanterns under the moon at night. While the event takes place in the afternoon, each participating child will make a special lantern to take home and enjoy at night with their families.
Performances will include traditional Mid-Autumn Festival songs by Chinese Pipa musician and educator Carrie Wang as well as Chinese artist Fan Yang and Vietnamese artist Thuan Stevens.
Between 100 and 150 people are expected to attend the Mid-Autumn Festival. Guests can buy tickets online in advance (https://bit.ly/2lE7blR) and there may not be any tickets left for purchase at the door.
Mid-Autumn Festival is just one of the many events put on by the Highlands Council each year. Soon, the council plans to have more cultural events, like El Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 1 and a large Lunar New Year celebration in mid January. The council also runs youth events, civic programming such as candidate forums, and just-for-fun events like Halloween Bingo.
“We really want to welcome anybody to register for this event regardless of their heritage,” Pinkston said. “We are really just hoping to bring the people of Issaquah together to celebrate our diversity and our similarities.”