One hazy, late afternoon in September, Gabe Newman ’18 found himself on the waterfront in the Old Town neighborhood of Tacoma, taking photo after photo of a mythical Chinese princess.

She’d led a parade of local children with red paper lanterns to a small bridge overlooking the Sound to close out the Tacoma Moon Festival, an annual event presented by the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation and about two dozen community partners to mark the end of summer, usher in fall, and celebrate diversity in Tacoma.

The Moon Princess, portrayed this year by Jane Marie Gunn ’18, always appears near the end of the festival to share her tale; one of bravery and sacrifice, of magic elixirs and immortality, of cleverness and betrayal, of love and remembrance. When the tale is done, she flies away, back to the moon until next year.

For dozens of local children, it’s a magical experience. “Every kid under the age of 10 or so badly wanted to take a photo with the Moon Princess,” Gabe says. “And when she was taken away by bicycle carriage, many of the kids really seemed as though they wanted to chase after her.”