Photos by Cheryl Landes, all from the Seattle Lantern Light Festival in Puyallup, Washington
Dozens of hand-crafted Chinese lanterns are on display at two Lantern Light Festivals in Puyallup (pew-ALL-up), Washington (35 miles south of Seattle), and Tulsa, Oklahoma. These lanterns, some more than 30 feet high and others up to 300 feet long, were built in China, disassembled, shipped to the festival sites, and reassembled.
The lantern festival is among China’s most important celebrations. It marks spring’s return, and lighting the lanterns represent illuminating the future and family reunions.
And, because the Puyallup and Tulsa events have been so popular in the US, the dates for both have been extended. The Puyallup festival ends on Sunday, January 14, and Tulsa’s last day is Sunday, January 21.
Although the lanterns are the highlight of both festivals, there’s a lot more to experience. Watch Chinese acrobats perform live on stage. Hear recorded Chinese music while walking through the lantern displays. Savor Chinese food and buy souvenirs. Kids can mine for emeralds, ride dragons, and have their faces painted.
There’s also miniature golf.
On select nights, you’ll see fireworks.
The Puyallup festival is located at the Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 9th Avenue SW. Enter and park at the Purple Gate. Parking is free but fills quickly, so arrive early.
The Tulsa festival is at River West Festival Park, 2100 South Jackson Avenue.
Hours at both locations are 5-10 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Ticket prices vary, depending on whether you purchase individual tickets or packages, and are less expensive to buy online. You can also avoid long lines at the entrance by buying online.
For more information about the festivals, visit the webpages for each location: