Cleveland Metroparks Zoo transforms for five-week Asian Lantern Festival

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is transforming into an all-new summer experience beginning Thursday, July 19th during the first-of-its-kind Asian Lantern Festival, presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s. Each Thursday through Sunday for five weeks, hundreds of large-scale, colorful lanterns will illuminate the Zoo and offer an amazing and unique look in an exclusive, after-hours setting.

In addition to the brilliant lanterns and your favorite zoo animals, visitors can get a taste of Asian culture with authentic cuisine, the T-Mobile craft market and live performances on the Fifth Third Bank each night.

“Asian Lantern Festival is a completely new way to experience the Zoo and its animals and we couldn’t be more excited to bring this vibrant opportunity to our guests,” said Kelly Manderfield, Cleveland Metroparks Chief Marketing Officer. “This event is building on the success of our new Asian Highlands destination and our celebration of Asian culture at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.”

Asian Lantern Festival will feature more than 40 displays and hundreds of lanterns across several destinations of the Zoo. From a 100-foot-long entrance pathway in the Welcome Plaza to African Savanna, Wilderness Trek, Asian Highlands and more, guests will be treated to colorful lanterns, including lions, elephants, giraffes, as well as flowers, set pieces, mythical animals from Chinese culture and a nearly 200-foot-long and 20-foot-tall Chinese Dragon that sprawls across Waterfowl Lake.

Each night of the festival, live acrobatic performances based on traditional Chinese practices can be seen on the Fifth Third Bank stage including plate spinning, Chinese yo-yo performances, foot juggling, contortionists and dramatic dances that involve quick, fluid movements.

Thursday nights will feature two live performances at 8 and 9 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays will feature three live performances at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Each performance will total approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Advance tickets to Asian Lantern Festival are available online for a discounted cost of $14.50 for Zoo members and $17.50 for non-members. The limited availability tickets cost $20.50 at the door. Children under 2 are admitted for free. Festival nights are Thursday through Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. A special $45 Family 4-pack is also available online and in-person. Act fast to secure limited availability festival tickets today here.

Special for Fifth Third customers, there is a Fifth Third better experience when visiting Asian Lantern Festival which includes a dedicated admissions line to skip the wait, a keepsake lantern for each guest, and preferred seating for the live performances on the Fifth Third Bank stage.

Asian Lantern Festival is building on the successful opening of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Asian Highlands habitat. The new global destination, which opened in June, offers expanded living spaces for several species such as the Amur and snow leopards and Red Pandas while also offering zoo visitors a more engaging experience to get up-close to some of the world’s rarest animals.

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