Wednesday, November 23, 2016 09:00 AM


About 200 glowing lanterns dangle overhead, emitting brightly colored lights onto the entryway to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre while a party of playful pandas look out over the venue’s Symphony Lake.

There are snowmen, elephants, Chinese Zodiac creatures, and the return of the 200-foot-long Chinese dragon that gracefully towers on Symphony Lake.

“Everything is new with the exception of the dragon and the pandas,” said Lyman Collins, the town’s cultural arts division manager. “I think I’d be run out of town if we didn’t bring back the dragon. Everyone loved the dragon.”

Welcome to the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, a wonderland of 20 displays, each created by hand with silk, hundreds of parts and more than 15,000 LED lights.

“There are so many things I think that can take your breath away,” Collins said.

Cary’s second Chinese Lantern Festival begins Friday, Nov. 25, and will run through Jan. 15.

Tianyu Arts and Culture, a Zigong, Sichuan-based company, is presenting the festival again this year after last year’s inaugural event proved to be one of the venue’s most popular attractions last year. The festival attracted 52,000 people and generated $675,000 in revenue from ticket sales. It was so successful that the event, which ...

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