Discover culture with the Botanical Gardens “China Lights” festival


With a fall chill in the air, the China Lights: Boerner Brighter than ever opens October 1 at the Boerner Botanical Gardens.

This celebration of Asian culture with color, light and sound is the first of its kind in the Midwest.

Urban Milwaukee reports:

As the sun goes down Oct. 1, Boerner Botanical Gardens will be transformed into a dramatic display of color, light, and sound at the first festival of its kind in the Midwest.

China Lights: Boerner Brighter Than Ever is a celebration of Asian culture featuring 40 larger-than-life sculptural lantern displays, stage performances highlighting folk-culture entertainment and activities, and a bustling marketplace. China Lights will be open through Oct. 30, Tuesday–Sunday from 5:30–10 p.m. An opening-night welcome will be given at 6 p.m. by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Parks Director John Dargle, Jr. Boerner Botanical Gardens is located in Whitnall Park at 9400 Boerner Drive, Hales Corners, WI.

Lantern Displays

After passing through the Welcome Gate, visitors may find that each display is more magical than the last.

Over the past month, 28 artisans from China have been on-site creating welded metal frames, lighting the frames from within using various types and colors of LED lights, covering the framework in brilliantly colored fabric, and hand-painting finishing touches. Among the components emerging from the process are glowing flowers, peacocks, cranes, and pandas.

Using a special technique, artisans in China created a sparkling surface on a pair of quilin, a mythical animal with the head of a dragon, horns, the hooves of a deer, and the tail of an ox. Covering the bodies are thousands of tiny bottles filled with colored water.

Display sizes are as large as the 200-foot-long dragon and the three-story palace pagoda.

Illumination Parade

Each night at about 6:15 p.m. members of the entertainment staff will lead a procession to light the zodiac display in the Shrub Mall of the Botanical Gardens. The Illumination Parade will conclude at the main stage in time for the first performance of the night.

For more on this celebration, visit Urban