The White Rock Moon Festival will return to Marine Drive for three days, Friday Sept. 5 to Sunday, Sept. 7, with traditional Chinese lily flower lanterns adorning and illuminating the pier and the promenade.
But while the event – presented by the City of White Rock in partnership with the White Rock Chinese Arts Centre – will feature performances, food, martial-arts demonstrations, craft workshops and a fireworks display highlighting elements of Chinese-Canadian culture, there is a broader, inclusive theme underlying the celebration, according to founder-director Mia Chao.
“Moon festivals traditionally represent family reunions, and we are thinking of the Canadian family,” she said.
“We are all Canadians, and Canadian people are coming from everywhere. Our theme for the festival is love and peace and unity. Love is the universal language – we hope everyone can join together to celebrate that.”
To symbolize that theme Chao – together with co-founders Mary Wu and Lin Chen and president Leslie Zhao – plan to encourage festival participants to join hands and sing Auld Lang Syne at 6 p.m. at Friday’s festival launch and at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6.
The festival will begin with an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. on Friday, including remarks by Mayor Wayne Baldwin. A dance party will take place from 6-9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday including music of all genres including salsa and hip hop. Saturday events will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. while Sunday, focusing on demonstrations and talks by local artists will run from 11 a.m to 4 p.m.
A stage next to the pier, with video screen will feature a wide range of entertainment, including White Rock country favorites Alanna and Brianne, classical artists and rock music as well as traditional Chinese performers, Chao said.
“We wanted to feature artists and performers and crafts people of the highest quality,” she said,
Vendors and demonstrations will be focused on the promenade beside White Rock Museum and Archives, she added.