Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival With Mooncakes and Paper Lanterns

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Schoolchildren in face masks stringing up paper lanterns in Clinton Park, Oakland.
Children string up paper lanterns at Clinton Park during the 2020 edition of the Little Saigon Mid-Autumn Festival. (Good Good Eatz)

To prepare for Eastlake Little Saigon’s big Mid-Autumn Festival celebration, the nonprofit Good Good Eatz and the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce are distributing 2,000 colorful paper lanterns to four local schools so that the students can paint and decorate them. On Sept. 18, the lanterns will light up dozens of restaurants around Eastlake, acting as beacons to draw customers toward delicious pho and banh mi at neighborhood standards like Pho Vy, Pho Mekong and Cam Huong.

Continuing an ongoing cross-promotion with Pokémon Go developer Niantic, many of the restaurants and markets will be designated as Pokéstops, where players of the augmented reality game can accrue power-ups. In further keeping with the Vietnamese emphasis of Mid-Autumn Festival as a children’s holiday—like Halloween for Americans, Good Good Eatz co-founder Trinh Banh explains—kids will be able to go around and collect miniature mooncakes and other goodies from many of the participating merchants.

This will be a masked event, and COVID vaccination and testing will be available at Clinton Park.

Eastlake Little Saigon's Mid-Autumn Festival celebration will take place on Sept. 18, noon–5pm at Clinton Park in Oakland. Details here.