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Posted on: February 1, 2018

LanternAsia Returns to Norfolk Botanical Garden

Colossal lantern exhibition will feature new works of art

NORFOLK, Va., January 31, 2018 –LanternAsia will return to Coastal Virginia this spring, celebrating Norfolk Botanical Garden’s (NBG) 80th anniversary. From Friday, March 9, 2018 through Sunday, May 13, 2018, the Garden will host LanternAsia, MORE Art by Day, MORE Magic by Night. This magnificent Asian lantern exhibition will transform the Garden’s 175-acre landscape with more than 40 colossal, illuminated works of art. 

LanternAsia first debuted at NBG in 2016, attracting more than 100,000 visitors, 37% of whom were from out of town. In 2018, guests will again be captivated by a 200-foot dragon, quilins comprised of small medicine bottles, and the Dali White Pagoda. Standing four stories high, the pagoda is constructed of 1 million china plates, tea cups and spoons, each hand strung on-site at NBG. In addition to these guest favorites, LanternAsia will feature more than 35 brand new works of art, including several underwater scenes, inspired by the exhibition’s Coastal Virginia setting. Chinese jugglers, acrobatic contortionists, and plate spinners are exciting new additions, enhancing this year’s exhibition. 
 
During the day, guests will have the opportunity to see the detail and craftsmanship of these intricate structures against the beautiful backdrop of Norfolk Botanical Garden. By night, guests will enjoy a completely different experience as the illuminated structures are transformed into mystical works of art.   

Lantern festivals, featuring illuminated works of art crafted from silk, steel and other eco-friendly materials, are an ancient Chinese tradition that date back more than 2,000 years ago to the Han Dynasty. Tianyu Culture Communication, based in Zigong, China, will again bring this extraordinary event to NBG. Beginning in mid-January, two dozen artisans will travel to the Garden from China to begin building and installing these massive custom-made structures.  

“LanternAsia is returning as Norfolk Botanical Garden celebrates its 80th anniversary! Over 40 phenomenal displays and performances will enchant visitors during the day, and illuminate the garden at night,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, City of Norfolk. “We are excited that patrons of the Garden and tens of thousands of visitors will have another opportunity to experience the magic of this spectacular international festival.” 

The exhibition will open with the LanternAsia Opening Party 2018 on Thursday, March 8, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Featuring an expanded space, live entertainment, and local Asian fare. Party guests will experience the exhibition before it opens to the public. 

During this March through mid-May event, NBG members will have free access to the Garden from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., in March, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. April and May. Members will also receive discounted admission during the event.  

Visit Lanternasia.org for more information and to purchase tickets for both the opening party and the exhibition.

About Norfolk Botanical Garden
Norfolk Botanical Garden represents an oasis of more than 60 themed gardens encompassing 175 beautiful acres. From stunning plant collections to WOW - World of Wonders: A Children’s Adventure Garden, this diverse natural beauty can be explored by tram, boat, or walking tours. The Garden is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, recognized as a Virginia Historic Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Virginia Green attraction. It is managed by Norfolk Botanical Garden, Inc. and supported by the City of Norfolk. Norfolk Botanical Garden is dedicated to enriching life by promoting the enjoyment of plants and the environment through beautiful gardens and educational programs. For more information, visit norfolkbotanicalgarden.org.