Chinese lanterns light up the Botanical Garden

HUNTSVILLE Ala. -- The Huntsville Botanical Garden is kicking off its biggest exhibit to date. The Chinese Lantern Festival features more than a thousand illuminated lanterns. The lanterns display wildlife from around the world, as well as some dinosaurs.

The lanterns are at the Botanical Garden March 20 through May 19, 2019. The exhibit is open each day for daytime Garden visitors, regular Garden admissions or Huntsville Botanical Garden membership applies.

"The Wild" Chinese Lantern Festival is open during the day Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The lantern festival is also open in the evening Wednesday through Sunday. The gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the last admission taken at 9:00 p.m.

The festival offers a stunning visual exhibition of Chinese art and culture. Other festival activities will include a Live Kung Fu performances at 6:00 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. weather permitting. As well as a Chinese shadow puppetry performances at 7:00 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., and a marketplace featuring authentic Chinese folk arts and crafts.

Boasting more than 1,000 illuminated displays, the Chinese Lantern Festival provides a stunning visual exhibition of Chinese art and culture. They call them lanterns but make no mistake-these are not handheld, candlelit lamps.

From humble beginnings of silk and paper, the Chinese lantern has evolved into wondrous shapes and sizes.

Enter “The Wild,” a world of life-size illuminated panda bears, lions, flamingos and more fauna from the world’s seven continents. Each of the lanterns is made by masters of the craft in Zigong, China’s center of lantern heritage.

You can purchase tickets at the door as regular Garden admission. Huntsville Botanical Garden members are free during the daytime hours.

Evening tickets may be purchased in advance online for the best value, or at the Garden Admissions Desk during daytime hours.

The Chinese Lantern path is one mile long. Typically most guests will take 1.5 to 2 hours to see the lanterns, buy a glass balloon, drink an adult beverage and catch a Kung Fu show. The paths are a mix of compacted gravel and paved areas. There are one or two hills, but strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs venture these paths on a daily basis.

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