County Executive Chris Abele
Press Release

County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Parks and Festival Pro LLC Announce the Return of China Lights

Chinese Lantern Festival will return to Boerner Botanical Gardens from September 13 – October 20

By - Jun 11th, 2019 12:14 pm
China Lights: Dragon. Photo from the Milwaukee County Parks Department.

China Lights: Dragon. Photo from the Milwaukee County Parks Department.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today with Milwaukee County Parks and Festival Pro LLC announced China Lights: Treasures of China will return to Boerner Botanical Gardens from September 13 – October 20, 2019. Online ticket sales will launch on August 8 at 10:08AM as a nod to the number eight’s association with good fortune in Chinese culture.

“China Lights is a visionary festival that brings Milwaukee’s legacy of public art and iconic public parks onto the world stage,” said County Executive Chris Abele. “This year’s festival is sure to help reshape the way people interact with Milwaukee County parks.”

China Lights: Treasures of China will be 95 percent new, featuring cultural gems recreated as lantern displays. The handmade displays range from three-feet to three-stories high. The festival will also include an expanded interactive exhibit area, two stages for Asian folk-culture performances, a marketplace, two dining areas and vendors offering a variety of Asian and Western menu options.

“On a recent visit to China, I went to what is considered one of the greatest archeological discoveries of modern times – the terra cotta warriors. Seeing thousands of clay soldiers and horses guarding the tomb of China’s first emperor was an amazing experience,” said Ralph Garity, the event producer and president of Festival Pro. “Working with Tianyu, we’ll be bringing this and other cultural treasures of China to Milwaukee — in the form of lantern displays.”

Now in its fourth year, the wildly popular China Lights has drawn visitors from 44 states and Washington, DC. More than 100,000 visitors have attended the show annually.

The Chinese Lantern Festival is a collaboration between Festival Pro LLC, a Milwaukee-based special-events producer and the Sichuan Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., in cooperation with Zigong City and the Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce. The presenting sponsor will be Tri City National Bank, and Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc. will organize China Lights.

“Magical is the best word I can use to describe the combination of this show at this location,” said Nicholas Bandoch, vice president of marketing at Tri City National Bank. “The displays are beautifully woven into the garden spaces. Boerner Botanical Gardens is simply the best venue to see this show, and, once again, Tri City National Bank is honored to present this amazing cultural experience.”

Boerner Botanical Gardens span nine-acres in Whitnall Park, located at 9400 W. Boerner Drive in Hales Corners, WI.

Festival hours will be 5:30PM–10:00PM, Tuesday through Sunday from September 13 to October 20. Admission tickets will be valid any night of the regular 2019 schedule. In addition to regular admission tickets, a limited number of exclusive preview tickets, VIP packages and season passes will be available for purchase. Complimentary parking will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to all event-goers.

For more information, visit

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