Milwaukee County Parks announced the return of “China Lights: Treasures of China” to the Boerner Botanical Gardens, on display from September 13 to October 20.

Now in its fourth year, the wildly popular China Lights has drawn visitors from 44 states and Washington DC. More than 100,000 visitors have attended the show annually. The design this year will be 95 percent new, featuring cultural gems recreated as lantern displays. The handmade displays range from three-feet to three-stories high.

“China Lights is a visionary festival that brings Milwaukee’s legacy of public art and iconic public parks onto the world stage,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “This year’s festival is sure to help reshape the way people interact with Milwaukee County parks.”

The festival will also include an expanded interactive exhibit area, two stages for Asian folk-culture performances, a marketplace, two dining areas and vendors offering a variety of Asian and Western menu options.

“On a recent visit to China, I went to what is considered one of the greatest archeological discoveries of modern times – the terra cotta warriors. Seeing thousands of clay soldiers and horses guarding the tomb of China’s first emperor was an amazing experience,” said Ralph Garity, the event producer and president of Festival Pro. “Working with Tianyu, we’ll be bringing this and other cultural treasures of China to Milwaukee — in the form of lantern displays.”

Boerner Botanical Gardens span nine-acres in Whitnall Park, located at 9400 W. Boerner Drive in Hales Corners. The Chinese Lantern Festival is a collaboration between Festival Pro, a Milwaukee-based special-events producer, and the Sichuan Tianyu Arts & Culture, in cooperation with Zigong City and the Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce.

“Magical is the best word I can use to describe the combination of this show at this location,” said Nicholas Bandoch, vice president of marketing at Tri City National Bank. “The displays are beautifully woven into the garden spaces. Boerner Botanical Gardens is simply the best venue to see this show, and, once again, Tri City National Bank is honored to present this amazing cultural experience.”

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Nick Hansen and China Lights