A delightful visit: The NC Chinese Lantern Festival

Itziar Carrasco Gomez, Staff Writer

To brighten the path into 2023, the NC Chinese Lantern Festival opened from November 18 to January 8, 2023. Though its doors are now closed, the event has left the local community with wonderful memories of the experience. The Koka Booth Amphitheater was decked out in lights from 6:30 pm- 10:00 pm surrounded by hundreds of light displays and offered a performance for visitors to enjoy at different times. 

NC Chinese Lantern Festival display by the Koka Booth Amphitheater next to the forest displays. (Itziar Carrasco Gomez)

As visitors made their way into the Koka Booth Amphitheater, they were able to walk along a path which led through light fixtures of pandas, dinosaurs, butterflies and even landscapes. 

The forest consisted of various magnolia tree displays made up of hundreds of lights, lighting the path with a green hue as visitors walked through. Whether people were five or fifty, everyone’s eyes lit up at the incredible craftsmanship of the displays. 

The forest light display, casting a green hue onto the path. (Itziar Carrasco Gomez )

At certain times, music could be heard coming from the Amphitheater, indicating a performance. From acrobatics to martial arts, the performers put on a show that left the audience speechless. One of the performers could be seen balancing a lighting post and many other objects with just his feet, and another showing her affinity for martial arts welcomed kids onto the stage to teach them routines. The performers were greatly interactive with the crowd, as the lights shone around them from different animal light fixtures in the background.

Although the Chinese Lantern Festival has closed, they will open their gates again later this year to put on another successful show for all ages. Stay tuned for new dates for 2023!