Gordon Head glows for Moon Festival

Moon Festival Lantern Celebration will light up the grounds of Lambrick Park at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre Saturday

The Moon Festival Lantern Celebration will light up the grounds of Lambrick Park at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre Saturday.

Charming or eery, the glowing lanterns of the Moon Festival Lantern Celebration have proved popular.

The annual festival will light up the grounds of Lambrick Park at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre Saturday, with lantern building stations starting at 6 p.m.

The festival is quietly turning five years old. It was born out of the defunct Luminara in Beacon Hill Park, and is growing in popularity.

“Weather permitting we’re hoping for 3,000 to 4,000 people,” said Dan Atagi, programmer with Gordon Head.

The history of the lantern festival dates back to its partnership with the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria who ran it from 2000 to 2009. Following that ICA helped the lantern festival diversify as a localized event in numerous neighbourhoods. However, it’s been most popular in Gordon Head, which was chosen specifically for its strong ethnic population, Atagi said.

“This event is based around the Annual Moon Festival celebrated by many Asian cultures throughout the world.”

Island Savings has come forward to help sponsor this year’s event, which has been supported by the District of Saanich and Lambrick Park secondary.

The event is free and encourages visitors to make their own lanterns, or to illuminate themselves in creative ways, or just to visit the event.

“Dress up, bring your own battery-powered lantern, or make one in our lantern-making station. But be safe,” Atagi said.

There’s lantern making for children and a sampling of moon cakes and traditional green teas. The event will also have live traditional Asian dance and musical performances by a range of community groups.

Large-scale lantern installations will be featured in the park, and at dusk there will be an illuminated lantern procession through the park.

Food trucks will be on site.

Parking is limited. Organizers encourage festival goers to walk, bike, bus, or park a bit away and enjoy the stroll to the park.