Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival fetes Franklin Square’s 10th anniversary.
The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival’s giant light-up pagoda, dragon, and other brilliant designs give new meaning to the word “illuminati.”
A favorite Philly attraction for its carousel, mini golf, and those crave-worthy SquareBurger Cake Shakes, Franklin Square celebrates its 10th birthday with an East-meets-West celebration. From April 22 to June 12, the historic square will transform into a garden of multicolored LED lights fashioned into flowers, peacocks, a three-story pagoda, and a grand 200-foot-long dragon for the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival. The theme was chosen to bridge two diverse Philly communities, says Amy Needle, president and CEO of Historic Philadelphia, Inc. “One of the most exciting opportunities for Historic Philadelphia is that we can expand our relationship with neighboring Chinatown,” she says. “We wanted to have a year-long celebration with some special added attractions. This was the perfect way to kick things off.” Twenty Chinese artisans will spend a month in Philly leading up to the event to create dozens of lanterns by hand—from building the frames and attaching the silk overlays to installing the lights. And look for local performers, artists, and food throughout those seven scenic weeks. Says Needle, “We look forward to bringing Chinatown’s culture to a wider audience.”