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Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

The festival returns to Philadelphia for year two

Chinese Lantern Festival

One of last year's most popular lanterns, the 200-foot Chinese dragon returns with a newly rebuilt facade. Credit: J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.


May 9 - June 18, 2017


After a super successful festival last year, the Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to Franklin Square this spring.

The popular festival welcomed more than 90,000 people from all 50 states and 10 countries during its first-ever festival in Philly (and the Northeast!) last year.

This year, the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square returns to Philadelphia’s Historic District with all-new, handcrafted lanterns that illuminate when the sun sets. It’s truly a sight to see.

From May 9 through June 18, the park will glow with 29 new (read: different lanterns than last year) handcrafted lanterns, including a newly rebuilt 200-foot Chinese dragon (a favorite lantern from last year) constructed by lantern artisans from China. Other lantern designs include a brand-new entrance gate, sea creatures, lions, pandas and mythological creatures.

Visitors can also check out creations from the Chinese Lantern Festival Student Design Contest. New this year, children 12 and under were invited to submit a drawing of either a Chinese zodiac monkey, rooster or dog for an artisan to turn into an actual sculpture. The winner of the contest will get to take his/her sculpture home after the lantern fest concludes.

In addition to admiring the radiant displays, folks of all ages are invited to explore the park and all else that Franklin Square has to offer, such as the popular carousel and mini golf course. Craftsmen will set up in booths at different sections throughout the square and sell items that celebrate Chinese culture.

The festival also promises entertainment to accompany the festival, with performances that are to include awe-inspiring acrobatics and folk dance performances.

Dining options will be in abundance, too, that celebrate classic Asian cooking and American fare. Returning this year is the Dragon Beer Garden, an al fresco drinking-and-dining space surrounded by huge lanterns. Unlike last year, though, the beer garden will be open nightly with craft beer, cocktails and fare for the whole family.

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