This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique festivals, events, and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of the Mansfield area. We call these “Summer Road Trips.” One of the perks of living in north central Ohio is its proximity to world-class entertainment, sporting opportunities, and more.
Of course, we want to share that there are many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County this summer and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.
Taking I-71 North this summer can instead transport you and your family to the lands of the Far East.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is celebrating the return of Asian Lantern Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s. The festival is even bigger than last year with additional live performances, expanded food options and all-new lanterns that are the largest yet.
More than 20 semi-trucks transported the metal interiors that make up the hundreds of lanterns that illuminate the Zoo through July 28.
A crane was required to assist in setting up the largest display – an extensive Chinese pagoda that stands 50 feet tall and is made of 19,000 mugs, 7,400 plates, 7,000 spoons and 1,300 bowls.
Additional all-new lantern displays include a walk-through 100-foot-long shark tunnel, a 30-foot-tall giant panda made of 20,000 ping pong balls and an all-new interactive zone sponsored by the Illuminating Company featuring moon swings, interactive stepping stones and more.
Each evening of the festival guests can enjoy live performances every hour on the Fifth Third Bank Stage featuring up to six acts including foot juggling, contortion, martial arts and more. Throughout the festival, guests can shop an Asian craft market, and taste a robust variety of culturally-inspired cuisine, including local favorites from partner restaurants Li Wah, King Wah, Thai Thai and more. Market Garden Brewery will also have craft beer available for purchase.
The limited time, after-hours event will run Thursday through Sunday evenings 6:30 PM to 10 PM through July 28.
Save on tickets when you purchase in advance. The discounted cost for Zoo members is $15.50 and $18.50 for non-members, or a 4-pack for $50. Advance ticket sales end at midnight the day before the event. Tickets can be purchased same-day at the box office for $20.50 each or a 4-pack for $60. Children under 2 are admitted for free. Single night tickets and a family four-pack are on sale now at futureforwildlife.org/lanterns.
Last year’s Asian Lantern Festival broke U.S. and international attendance records for lighting events of its kind, with more than 150,000 guests.
For driving directions and more, visit the website of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Source, Photo: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo