Every seat and most of the floor space in the impeccably-decorated Grind was filled Saturday night, as students enjoyed the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. The Asian Cultural Society (ACS) joined with other student groups, such as the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), the Korean Students Association (KSA), and the Vietnamese Students Association (VSA) to provide food and entertainment in celebration of the major East Asian holiday.
Based on the lunar calendar, the festival falls in early autumn each year, and originated as a celebration of the year’s harvest. Each year, ACS works through the entirety of the first month of the fall semester to celebrate the festival at Clark. This year, the event had an especially large turnout.
“It was actually really successful,” said Crystal Tang (‘18), president of ACS, noting that while past years have been successful as well, this one was especially well-attended. “We even ran out of chairs, and people were sitting on the floor, which I felt bad about, but I’m happy that so many people showed up.”
Generally the event draws over 100 people, but this year that number just about doubled.
“We actually counted the number of packages of plates we opened,” said Tang, explaining how they reached the estimate of over 200 attendees.
The crowd enjoyed a spread of food from New China Lantern that stretched across two walls of the Grind and featured a variety of options. With CSSA matching ACS’ food budget this year, the organizers were able to significantly increase the food offerings.
To prevent a food stampede and introduce a bit of fun into the waiting part of the evening, the hosts organized the process through a game, calling a representative from each table to the stage to compete for their group’s spot in the food line. After 10 seconds of a pop song was played, participants had to race to the microphone to name the title and artist.
“Please be careful when you fight for the mic,” said the hostess as the game began, anticipating the battle that would soon ensue. Participants, remarkably agile and polite in their attempts to claim their spot in the food line without knocking over any competitors, raced to the microphone one-by-one until each group had been invited to get their food, and the line snaked around the room, weaving between tables and chairs.
Shortly after the guests began settling back into their seats, a series of performers began to take the stage. The rest of the night featured a number of musical and dance performances.
Kicking off this segment of the evening was Mina Tran (‘19), who sang and played guitar, performing covers of “Fall For You,” by Secondhand Serenade, and “Thinking Out Loud,” by Ed Sheeran. She was followed by a number of fellow students showing off their talents.
Tang explained the process of collaborating with other clubs to recruit performers for the events.
“I think that was probably the most successful thing we did this year, we collaborated with a lot of clubs,” she said. She noted that other cultural clubs, such as CSSA, KSA, and VSA were very involved, as was the Music Society of Clark University (MSCU).
While the clubs that ACS collaborated with were a major part of the event’s success, Tang also discussed the hard work of the ACS members who made up the various committees that worked together to plan the event.
“There was just so much … passion and effort,” she said. “I’m really proud of my e-board, especially.”
From publicity committee to skits committee to food committee and more, each component of the event was covered by an e-board member and group of club members. On Saturday night, each of those different aspects came together to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere and an overall successful celebration.
“I’m just really happy that it all worked out,” reflected Tang.