The 15th Annual Asian Family Moon Festival and Chinese American Culture and Art Festival will open on Sept 6 in Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry, a suburb of Los Angeles, it was announced Tuesday.

This program has been run for 15 years by the Chinese community of Los Angeles. This year’s host city, City of Industry, an industrial suburb 22 miles outside of Los Angeles, will present performances and art from up to 100 minority nationalities, highlighting the diversity of Asian cultures.

“The moon festival is the Thanksgiving of China when families get together. It is not just a Chinese tradition but also a cultural heritage in all Asian countries. We hope to bring fun to all Asian families in Los Angeles as well as American people,” said James Su, chairman of EDI Media, the organizer of the event at the press conference in Puente Hills Mall.

Sponsored by East West Bank and Southern China Airline, the festival will showcase a non-stop, eight-hour performance including Chinese opera, Chinese traditional dance, Chinese martial arts, Taiwan folk dance, Mexican dance and Thai dance. There will also be moon cakes and other Asian food tastings.

The program is expected to attract members of the Asian community from up to 20 cities. Chinese communities form a substantial portion of the population of the San Gabriel Valley. The region has achieved international prominence as a hub of overseas Chinese, with its community spreading over a cluster of LA suburbs.

Fred Sykes, mayor pro tem of West Covina, also recognized the program as an important cultural exchange effort. “A cultural exchange program like this is not just for young people who learn Chinese at schools but it’s also beneficial to the older generation like me to come to see and learn about Chinese culture.”

Liu Chunxiang, news consul of China’s Consulate General in Los Angeles, said the festival is one of the most influential cultural events in the Chinese community of Southern California. “It boosts the understanding of Chinese culture in US society,” Liu said at the press conference.

The Moon Festival Celebration will be joined by a number of Asian organizations from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and other regions.

“It is not just Chinese, it is a Malaysian holiday too,” said Irni Noor, a representative from Malaysia’s tourism bureau in Los Angeles.

Manny Ilagan, a representative from the Philippines’ tourist board in Los Angeles said the Philippine community would celebrate this festival with Chinese and Americans.

Suriya Sitthichai, of Thailand’s tourism bureau, expressed their appreciation and their wishes to demonstrate their cultural traditions at the moon festival celebration. “We hope the American people get to know more about Thailand and travel there,” Sitthichai said.

By CINDY LIU September 3, 2014 in China Daily