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Winter Lantern Festival will light up Tysons this month in D.C. area debut

The D.C. area’s first-ever Winter Lantern Festival is coming to Lerner Town Square at Tysons II (courtesy Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group)

Thousands of lanterns will take over Lerner Town Square at Tysons II this winter.

Based in New York City, the Winter Lantern Festival will bring over 10,000 Chinese-style lanterns to Tysons for a nearly two-month stay from Dec. 16 through Feb. 12. This will be its first-ever stop in the D.C. area, the festival announced Wednesday (Nov. 30).

“We are thrilled to debut the Winter Lantern Festival, expand to new locations, introduce all visitors to the beauty of these artisan installations, and have the show become part of the DMV’s cultural holiday tradition,” said Haokun Liu, partner of Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group, which organizes the annual festival.

Founded in 2018 as New York Events & Entertainment, Kaleido Arts assists companies, nonprofits and others with events that promote “global cross-cultural communication,” according to a press release.

The New York City festival has drawn over 150,000 guests annually over its three years of existence. It’s expanding to five different locations this year, but Tysons is the first and only site outside of New York state.

The outdoor venue at 8025 Galleria Drive, which hosted Cirque du Soleil this summer, will be filled with displays made out of painted lanterns to resemble animals, such as polar bears and penguins, as well as figures out of Chinese myths and legends.

All of the lanterns are handmade by over 100 artists, who fit silk cloth over steel wire frames with LED lights using techniques that date back to the Han dynasty, per the festival website. The displays can reach up to 30 feet in height and will span 60 acres.

“Lantern festivals have been a part of Chinese culture and history for thousands of years, honoring our ancestors and celebrating peace, prosperity, and good fortune,” Liu said.

The festival will also feature interactive light swings, see-saws and tunnels, along with live entertainment and food vendors.

Tickets are now on sale for $31.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids 12 and under, including a $2 service fee. For now, customers can get a 30% discount if they use the code EARLYP.

The festival will generally operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but it will be open daily between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1, 2023. Hours will be 5-10 p.m.

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