China Lights will return to Boerner Botanical Gardens this fall

200-foot dragon lantern

China Lights will return to Boerner Botanical Gardens at Whitnall Park in Hales Corners from Sept. 13 to Oct. 20, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Festival Pro LLC announced today.

This will be the fourth year for the Chinese Lantern Festival, which has attracted more than 100,000 to Boerner Botanical Gardens each year.

“China Lights is a visionary festival that brings Milwaukee’s legacy of public art and iconic public parks onto the world stage,” said Abele. “This year’s festival is sure to help reshape the way people interact with Milwaukee County parks.”

This year’s festival, China Lights: Treasures of China, will be 95 percent new, featuring cultural gems recreated as lantern displays. The handmade displays range from three-feet to three-stories high. The festival will also include an expanded interactive exhibit area, two stages for Asian folk-culture performances, a marketplace, two dining areas and vendors offering a variety of Asian and Western menu options.

The Chinese Lantern Festival is a collaboration between Festival Pro LLC, a Milwaukee-based special-events producer and the Sichuan Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., in cooperation with Zigong City and the Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce. The presenting sponsor will be Tri City National Bank, and Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc. will organize China Lights.

“On a recent visit to China, I went to what is considered one of the greatest archeological discoveries of modern times – the terra cotta warriors. Seeing thousands of clay soldiers and horses guarding the tomb of China’s first emperor was an amazing experience,” said Ralph Garity, the event producer and president of Festival Pro. “Working with Tianyu, we’ll be bringing this and other cultural treasures of China to Milwaukee — in the form of lantern displays.”

“Magical is the best word I can use to describe the combination of this show at this location,” said Nicholas Bandoch, vice president of marketing at Tri City National Bank. “The displays are beautifully woven into the garden spaces. Boerner Botanical Gardens is simply the best venue to see this show, and, once again, Tri City National Bank is honored to present this amazing cultural experience.”

Online ticket sales for the 2019 China Lights festival will launch on Aug. 8.

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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