Once again, the streets of historic Chinatown will be transformed into a lively, colorful pedestrian bazaar for the 23rd Annual AT&T Autumn Moon Festival on September 14-15, 2013 produced by the Chinatown Merchants Association. For two days, Saturday and Sunday, San Francisco Chinatown on historic Grant Avenue will be filled with attractive arts and crafts booths, cultural exhibits, children’s activities, food, corporate sponsors and non-stop entertainment. The festivities open with a grand parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. on California and Grant led by Mayor Ed Lee, civic officials, beauty queens, cultural performers and lion dancers. In memory of Sinclair Louie, the Festival’s founder, there will be a special evening lantern parade on Saturday at 5 p.m. The famous Dragon appears on Sunday at 5 p.m. as the grand finale of the event. The Moon Festival attracts throngs of local residents and tourists from all over the San Francisco Bay Area. The event was started in 1991 by a group of merchants in an effort to revitalize Chinatown businesses. Since then, the Festival has continued on a path of continued growth and prominence.
This is the 8th year that Title Sponsor AT&T played a part in the Moon Festival. “The San Francisco AT&T Autumn Moon Festival provides a fun cultural experience in the community which is why AT&T has long been a proud supporter,” Jennifer Jones, Vice President Diverse Markets, Mobility, AT&T. “Each year, AT&T brings the latest family entertainment and innovative technology to our booth. We invite people to stop by and experience firsthand AT&T’s Autumn Moon Rabbit Mobile App, exclusive wireless devices and U-verse Chinese programming.”
For visitors unfamiliar with the Asian tradition of the Moon Festival, this event provides a unique opportunity to participate in cultural festivities unlike any other in the Western world. Chinese Opera performers commingle with martial artists, and contemporary pop groups perform alongside traditional dancers. All this variety gives attendees insight into the cultural diversity of this unique San Francisco neighborhood.
For this weekend, this Chinatown festival will be a shopper’s bargain paradise. Thousands of Asian arts and crafts, housewares, plants, jewelry, and beauty products will be for sale at special prices in well-stocked booths covering several city blocks. Several vendors will be on hand to sell a large assortment of the traditional mooncakes. Unique ethnic foods will be offered by several vendors. In addition, sponsors will be on-hand to provide free gifts, games, and raffles.
1000 year- old Asian tradition
Moon Festival celebrations, though still relatively new to the U.S., have been held throughout Asia for well over 1,000 years. This holiday is a time to reflect upon the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon, and the myth of the immortal moon Goddess, Chang O, who lives in the moon. The Moon Festival is often compared to a sort of “Chinese Thanksgiving” because of its spirit of gratitude and its inclusion of abundant food — including the popular moon cake. Moon cakes are flaky, round, semi-sweet pastries often filled with bean or lotus-seed paste and topped with a duck egg, echoing the shape of the full moon. Many millions of moon cakes are gifted around the time of the Moon Festival.
Festival attendees are encouraged to use public transportation. The event is free. For more information, please call (415) 982-6306, http://moonfestival.org, on Facebook at SFCMA.
Anyone who would like to participate as a street vendor, should contact Bert Lee at (415) 690-9225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Title Sponsor: AT&T
Major Sponsor: Graton Resort and Casino, Co-Sponsor: Thunder Valley Resort and Casino
Supporting Sponsors: New York Life, PG&E, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation
Also funded in part by: Grant for the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund