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Hundreds walk, bike, drive through Saanich’s full moon lantern festival

Harvest Moon celebration draws crowds for pandemic-friendly fun

Colourful paper lanterns and displays glowed in Gordon Head on Saturday night as residents on foot, on bikes and in cars celebrated the annual Moon Festival Lantern Celebration.

Lambrick Way and the Gordon Head Recreation Centre parking lot filled with attendees of all ages taking part in the modified festival – a free two-hour event hosted by Saanich Parks and Recreation, Lambrick Park Secondary School and School District 61.

This year, the district opted for a flow-thru model due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees moved through the lantern route continuously to avoid jams and the popular attractions such as traditional dance and music performances, a lantern-making workshop, and mooncakes were postponed to 2021. Members of the Saanich Police Department guided festival-goers through the display route and kept traffic moving as everyone took in the sights.

Saanich community arts specialist Brenda Weatherston said organizers were pleased with the turnout and noted that attendees were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate outdoors.

The Moon Festival Lantern Celebration marked the first full moon of autumn – the Harvest Moon – on Oct. 1. According to the district, the festival “fosters understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity” as many Asian cultures around the world celebrate the Harvest Moon.

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