Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on September 5 & 6



More info at  Buy your tickets ahead of time by calling 520-292-6000. Adults $10, students $5 (with I.D.), children 5 and under FREE.

Tucson Chinese Cultural Center is located at 1288 W. River Rd., just east of La Canada Drive.

From Tucson Meet Yourself FB page:

The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center will bring together giant puppets, mooncakes and geography in a program of great entertainment and culture on September 5 and 6. The event includes an original multicultural dance drama choreographed by Barbea Williams, called Zheng He in the Desert — an Afro-Chinese interpretation about the voyages of Ming Dynasty sea captain Zheng He to Africa and beyond.

Martial artists, African, TCCC and East Indian dancers will participate in the drama, as will local puppeteers being trained to animate the giant giraffe puppet (symbolic of the giraffe that was a gift from an African ruler to the Chinese emperor). A variety of Chinese and African foods, in addition to the mooncakes, will be served to attendees, who also will see traditional arts demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy and lantern-making.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Terrific play & dance drama about a Ming Dynasty sea captain and his adventures on the Silk Road to India and Africa. Large audience tonight at this event including PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert & Governing Bd. member Sylvia Lee. Repeats again tomorrow night, and I highly recommend this multi-cultural performance, including a large giraffe puppet and lion dances.

  2. Better description of this festival from the organizers:
    “On September 5th and 6th, the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center will celebrate its annual mid-Autumn Festival with a never-before-seen dance drama about Zheng He, a Ming Dynasty sea captain who traveled to Africa and beyond 70 years before the voyages of Columbus. A collaboration with Barbea Williams Performing Company, the multimedia work includes a 14-foot-tall giraffe puppet crafted by local artist Mykl Wells.

    Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng He sailed giant Treasure Ships throughout the southern oceans, visiting the countries of southern Asia and the east coast of Africa, trading and engaging in diplomacy. This story will be dramatically told in African and Chinese art forms. Shaolin Master Junming Zhao performs the lead role of Zheng He, ably supported by performers of Tucson Sino Martial Arts. Youth performers from multiple cultures are also featured, including the debut of a new form of the ever-popular Lion Dance. Drumming, dialog, puppets, colorful scenery, dance, a celebration of maps, all combine to create a dynamic and innovative performance and celebration. Even the audience will be invited to participate in the final procession, carrying lanterns made before the show.

    This drama is a perfect subject for the Autumn Moon Festival. At this time, Chinese all over the world watch the harvest moon and dream of home. The ancient mariners would have done the same. The piece will be staged outdoors, under the autumn moon.

    The festival will include lantern-making, calligraphy, and all the usual activities. A selection of African and Chinese foods, along with traditional moon cakes, will be available for sale. “

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