Zoo to host Lantern Festival


POWELL – The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is excited to announce the Columbus Zoo Lantern Festival, a new and spectacular family-friendly event produced by Hanart Culture. From Aug. 1 through Sept. 29, guests can experience this colorful celebration of Asian culture every Thursday through Sunday, from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Lantern Festival is set to illuminate the zoo with more than 60 sets of stunning LED lantern displays, featuring brilliantly lit animal scenes that captivate and inspire. Multicolored LED animal lanterns will illuminate paths throughout various areas of the zoo, creating an unforgettable experience. In addition to the breathtaking lanterns, guests can explore various aspects of Asian culture by enjoying two incredible shows each evening, which may include acrobats, kung fu demonstrations, puppetry shows, or folk music performances.

“We are excited to bring this extraordinary event to our community,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Tom Schmid. “The Lantern Festival is a modern take on an ancient tradition, and we are honored to showcase the incredible artistry and cultural richness of Asia. Our guests will have the unique opportunity to see these lanterns and enjoy the vibrant entertainment and cultural experiences.”

Twenty skilled artists from China will be onsite, working to create exquisite scenes that feature animals from around the world. This festival highlights the evolution of lantern making from the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) to the present day, where modern materials and technology bring these masterpieces to life with colorful LED lightbulbs, musical enhancements, sound effects, and visual moving parts.

“This centuries-old craftsmanship take nearly 30,000 hours to design each shape, and each lantern guests see at the Columbus Zoo are all handcrafted by masters from Ziggong, China,” said George Zhao, president of Hanart Culture, the producer of the event. “Through vibrant displays and cultural performances, the Columbus Zoo Lantern Festival celebrates the rich tapestry of Asian cultures, inviting the Central Ohio community and beyond to immerse themselves in a world of light, color, and tradition.”

The Lantern Festival offers a perfect evening out for families and friends and includes: Custom jaw-dropping performances curated just for this event; complimentary parking; select rides like Mission Macaw, Tidal Twist, and Havoc Harbor in Adventure Cove, and the zoo’s historic Grand Carousel; interactive photo opportunities throughout the zoo; zoo character ambassador meet-and-greets and rolling celebrations.

Know before you go:

• The festival will go on, rain or shine!

• Regular zoo hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in July. Regular Zoo hours are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in August. The Lantern Festival begins Aug. 1 and runs Thursdays through Sundays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Sept. 29.

• The Lantern Festival is a separate ticketed event and not included with zoo admission.

• The lanterns are the true stars of the event. While the animals in our care take a rest during the evening hours, the focus of the Lantern Festival is on creating memories with family and friends during this 8-week event.

Submitted by the Columbus Zoo.

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