Chinese Lantern Festival comes alive at night in Boca Raton

A glowing T. rex roars and wags its tiny arms in a field of butterflies, lions, giraffes and alligators at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton.

The animals are decorative Chinese lanterns, and the electric menagerie is part of the ongoing Chinese Lantern Festival, which will close Sunday, April 9. Some of the 800 animal-shaped lanterns, on display since Feb. 24, are animated, including penguins that flap their wings and moose that turn their heads.

The lanterns, built from satin, glass, ceramic, paint and steel wires, were assembled by a team of artists in a Chinese factory, then installed along 15 acres of the amphitheater. The animals illuminate about sunset each day, and are accompanied by kung fu demonstrations, children’s rides and a display of folk art.

The inaugural festival has even apparently drawn interest from President Donald Trump, expected in town this weekend with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders may attend the 7 p.m. Friday closing ceremony, themed around cultural exchange and diplomacy, which will also feature recent Olympic medal winners in attendance.

When: 5:30-10 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, through Sunday, April 9

Where: Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 12551 Glades Road, Boca Raton

Cost: $12.50-$22

Contact: 855-618-8188 or ChineseLanternFestival.com

pvalys@southflorida.com or 954-356-4364

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