Two hundred feet isn’t that long if you’re talking about, say, a lunchtime stroll, or how much time you have before GPS says “turn left!” But when you’re using "200 feet" to describe a dragon, that’s a whole different story. As part of its 10-year anniversary celebration, Franklin Square is hosting the first Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival this spring. The seven-week fest, running April 22 to June 12, will feature 25 oversized lit-up displays — including a 200-foot Chinese dragon and a three-story pagoda — created by artisans in China specifically for the event, and sent by ship to Philly.
Along with the colorful LED light installations, there will be live performances, artisans making and selling crafts and, the staple of all good festivals, food.
And yes, Historic Philadelphia knows that a lantern festival is traditionally held on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, which is Feb. 15 this year, but since no one wants to spend the evening outdoors in mid-February here, this fest will happen during warmer weather.
During the festival, Franklin Square will be open to the public as usual during the day, but tickets will be required after 6 p.m. The ticket price hasn’t been set yet. Check HistoricPhiladelphia.org for updates as it gets closer.