Historic Philadelphia, Inc. announces the return of the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square which will take place from early May to June 11, 2017. PCDC is a proud community liaison for this cultural celebration. The first Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square debuted in April 2016 and ran for seven weeks, welcoming 92,000 visitors from all 50 states and 10 foreign countries. The Festival is a celebration of light and culture that features artisans from China creating magnificent steel-framed and silk-wrapped giant animals, springtime flowers and trees, and symbols of Chinese culture using traditional Chinese methods. For five weeks, Franklin Square will glow with 29 larger-than-life illuminated lantern displays of 1,500 individual sculptures with more than 15,000 LED lights in brilliant colors. The giant fan favorite Chinese Dragon will return with some of the beloved panda lanterns, but all of the other displays will be new for the 2017 Festival. In addition to the gorgeous light installations, festival-goers will witness authentic cultural performances that are all new for 2017 such as acrobats and folk dancers. Visitors can taste Asian cuisine and American favorites, drink a toast at the Dragon Beer Garden, and shop for artists’ creations crafted on site. Guests will still be able to play mini-golf, ride the carousel, and enjoy Center City’s best play place during the spring and all year long. The proceeds that Historic Philadelphia receive from the Festival will go into the operation and management of Franklin Square and its many free events all year long.
New for 2017, Historic Philadelphia will conduct the Chinese Lantern Festival Student Design Contest giving area youth the opportunity to design a lantern that will be created in 3-D for this year’s Festival. Children 12 and under can submit a drawing of one of three Chinese zodiac animals: Year of the Monkey (2016), Rooster (2017) or Dog (2018). Between March 1 and March 31, students can submit a drawing through the Historic Philadelphia website and the artisans will create a giant lantern of their design. The lantern will be displayed throughout the Festival and the winner will get to take the sculpture home with them after it concludes. Rules and more information are at historicphiladelphia.org.