The Quincy August Moon Festival, organized by Quincy Asian Resources Inc. (QARI), celebrated its 30th anniversary at Quincy High School on August 21.
A number of elected city officials made appearances at the festival, including Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch; State Sen. John Keenan; State Rep. Tackey Chan; Quincy City Councilors Ian Cain, Noel DiBona and Nina Liang.
Hundreds of local vendors, food trucks and cultural activities welcomed festival goers. QARI CEO Philip Chong said, “QARI has been organizing the Moon Festival for 16 years. We received enormous help from the City of Quincy, the police force, Department of Public Works, the South Shore YMCA and so much more. We are so lucky to have hundreds of sponsors and volunteers who are so kind to us.”
Many of the volunteers were local students from the YouthService Corps project at QARI.
Brian Nguyen, a program participant, said, “It’s really fun. You get to see and meet new people. That is what QARI does to engage everyone in the community. It usually takes the summer to prepare the decoration, and arts and crafts. On the day of the event, we came here a couple of hours early to set up the tents and tables. I’ve been here for four or five years now.”
The festival attracted more than 10,000 attendees from different townships and cultural backgrounds. “We all know that Quincy is a very diverse city, so we want to embrace different cultures and ethnicities in this place. It is not just an Asian festival. It is an opportunity for every single resident to come to enjoy the beautiful city and it’s getting better,” Chong added.
Nina Liang, Quincy’s first Chinese-American city councilor, said, “It is a large city with about 100,000 residents. We have the highest Asian population as a whole in the Commonwealth. But what you’ll see at the August Moon Festival is that it is not just an event for Asian Americans. It is an event for the entire community, which is really unique.”
Being a predominantly working-class Irish American community in the past, Quincy has attracted immigrants from Asia and grown into a more diverse city. Its proximity to Boston gives residents an easier commute access to work without high living expenses.
“As you look around, you’ll see families from all backgrounds, all different ages and everyone is here for the same reason. It’s to come out and celebrate Quincy and meet your neighbors so to have a little bit of fun along the way. … It’s a very large community and everyone cares about each other and we look out for each other,” Liang said.
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