Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is putting the finishing touches on the extensive set up for the return of Asian Lantern Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s. The festival promises to be bigger than last year with additional live performances, expanded food options and all-new lanterns that are the largest yet.
Set up for the festival began five weeks ago and more than 20 semi-trucks have helped transport the metal interiors that make up the hundreds of lanterns that will illuminate the Zoo beginning Thursday, June 20.
A crane was required to assist in setting up the largest display – an extensive Chinese pagoda that stands 50 feet tall and is made of 19,000 mugs, 7,400 plates, 7,000 spoons and 1,300 bowls.
Additional all-new lantern displays include a walk-through 100-foot-long shark tunnel, a 30-foot-tall giant panda made of 20,000 ping pong balls and an all-new interactive zone sponsored by the Illuminating Company featuring moon swings, interactive stepping stones and more.
Each evening of the festival guests can enjoy live performances every hour on the Fifth Third Bank Stage featuring up to six acts including foot juggling, contortion, martial arts and more. Throughout the festival, guests can shop an Asian craft market, and taste a robust variety of culturally-inspired cuisine, including local favorites from partner restaurants Li Wah, King Wah and more. Market Garden Brewery will also have craft beer available for purchase.
The limited time, after-hours event will run Thursday through Sunday evenings 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 20 through July 28.
Save on tickets when you purchase in advance. The discounted cost for Zoo members is $15.50 and $18.50 for non-members, or a 4-pack for $50. Advance ticket sales end at midnight the day before the event. Tickets can be purchased same-day at the box office for $20.50 each or a 4-pack for $60. Children under 2 are admitted for free. Single night tickets and a family four-pack are on sale now at futureforwildlife.org/lanterns
Last year’s Asian Lantern Festival broke U.S. and international attendance records for lighting events of its kind, with more than 150,000 guests.