San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival 2011 9/10-9/11 [Preview]

Summer is coming to an end, and it’s time to reap what was sown during the season! No, not your sun burned skin peelings or your bad tan lines. (Ew! Put those away!) I’m talking about the Annual Autumn Moon Festival in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It’s been 21 years since the Chinatown Merchants Association first implemented the festival as a way to restore the city’s charm (San Francisco had just been hit by the Loma Prieta earthquake). And lo and behold, over two plus decades later, San Francisco and Chinatown are pretty much back to status quo ante.

So, now that you know the Who and What, let’s get to the Where. The fun takes place along Grant Avenue on both days. The opening parade starts at California Street and Grant Avenue, but the main stage is at Washington Street and Grant Avenue.

Image courtesy of Autumn Moon Festival.

The Moon Festival is more or less the same each year, complete with traditional lion dances and martial arts performances. However, 2011’s event falls on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy. Ten years ago, this fair was able to raise several thousand dollars to send to the Red Cross, aiding 9/11 victims and their families. This year, festival-goers are once again welcome to donate to the American Red Cross, with plenty of opportunities to do so on both days. Also in recognition of this event, the opening ceremonies will honor the San Francisco Police and Fire Department with charity donations. The closing parade on Sunday (September 11) will feature boy scouts and American Red Cross volunteers. American flags will be handed out on Sunday, so wave ‘em proud!

The festival would not be complete without its offer of free non-stop entertainment, including lion dances, parades, and live music shows. This year’s projected schedule has a line-up with something for everyone. Saturday features the Jing Mo Lion Dance Troupe in the opening parade, the Yau Kung Moon Lion & Martial Arts Group, and a Miss Asian American Fashion Show, among other artistic performances. (You can check out the full schedule on the event’s official website.)

Photo by Ed Chuck.

Sunday has more fun for the whole family, including White Crane Lion Dance and the closing ceremonies. Also, get ready for another appearance by Jest Jammin’, a popular music group that is known as the last of the “Local Chinatown Bands.” More than just live music, this group encourages event-goers to come and dance around the stage with band member Reverend Norman Fong (maybe you can burn off those moon cake calories!). Event sponsors will also have booths set up for amazing giveaways, raffles and more. This year’s fun providers include AT&T, Coca Cola and Thunder Valley Casino-Resort.

Photo by Frank Jang.

Come and celebrate the awesome-ness that is the Moon Festival, also known in other cultures as the Summer Harvest festival or as The Super Huge Moon Is Here So Let’s Eat Yummy Cakes Festival!

Oh, and as a disclaimer, if you do not like dim sum, bubble drinks, tea or moon cakes (aka if you practice a rare and terrible form of dietary masochism) this festival is not for you. For the rest of you carb-loving delicious people, come out to Chinatown and enjoy (what is projected to be) a sunny weekend! Yee haw!


San Francisco Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival Official Website

Let us know what you think of San Francisco’s Autumn Chinatown Moon Festival! Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for updates on what we’re covering. You can stay on top of exciting events from around the world by downloading the eventseekr app for Android or iPhone.


About MJ
MJ is a girl who prefers Buster Posey to Peter Parker.

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