They all come together at the Chinese Lantern Festival, open daily from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm through January 6, 2013, at historic Fair Park in Dallas, Texas.
Never before in the Southwest, the Chinese Lantern Festival debuted at the State Fair of Texas®, and re-opened for an encore in early November. It's an exotic visual delight--a collection of architecture, fabric flora, and fauna, including pandas, flamingos, and dinosaurs. There's a dragon made from 15,000 porcelain dishes!
The festival lights up the night, setting the lagoon and imaginations aglow. The Temple of Heaven, Statue of Liberty, animated creatures, and a huge Blossoming Lotus—these are among 22 dazzling lantern sets next to the Nature and Science Buildings, and both in and around the lagoon.
Marvel at Old World handcrafts and souvenirs made before your eyes. Watch artists weave palm leaves into detailed, articulated dragons and scorpions. Ever seen someone 'paint' with liquid sugar? Elaborate confections take the shape of rabbits or monkeys, forcing a debate over whether to eat them. If that whets your appetite, sit down for a taste of Chinese or Western foods on the terrace overlooking the lagoon. Burgeoning with illuminated lotuses, cattails, frogs and ducks, it's a place that beckons you to linger.
Getting to the Festival
Using GPS, To navigate using GPS, enter this address: 1318 S 2nd Ave. (South Second Avenue). That will bring you to a corner of the Festival grounds, close to parking and our main entrance.
From the west, take I-30 to Exit 47 (2nd Avenue). After the ramp, keep right on 2nd Avenue and take the road as it curves right, putting you onto Robert B. Cullum Blvd. The closest parking to our entrance is at Gate 5 (Grand Avenue). To get there, continue on Robert B. Cullum to the first light at Grand Avenue. Turn left into Fair Park there, at Gate 5. General paid parking ($15) is to the right and left. Walk through Gate 5 up Grand Avenue to the first traffic circle and turn right (onto 1st Avenue). Our Majestic Arch entrance is on your right.
From the east, take I-30 to Exit 47C (1st Avenue). On the off ramp, keep right and take the right loop onto Exposition Avenue. That leads right to Fair Park. The closest parking to our entrance is at Gate 5 (Grand Avenue). To get there from Exposition Ave., turn right onto Parry Avenue and continue as it merges with Robert B. Cullum Blvd., curving left. Continue to the next light at Grand Avenue. Turn left into Fair Park there, at Gate 5. General paid parking ($15) is to the right and left. Walk through Gate 5 up Grand Avenue to the first traffic circle and turn right (onto 1st Avenue). Our Majestic Arch entrance is on your right.
Take DART's Green Line train to either Fair Park Station or MLK, Jr., Station (our entrance is closer to the Fair Park station).
From Fair Park Station, enter the main gate, walk down the Esplanade, turn right, pass Big Tex Circle, and look for our Majestic Arch to your left, along First Avenue.
If exiting at MLK, Jr., Station, enter Fair Park at Gate 5 (Grand Avenue), walk straight ahead up Grand Avenue to the first traffic circle (before the Old Mill Restaurant), and turn right on First Avenue. Our Majestic Arch entrance is on your right.
For more, see Fair Park's DART page: http://www.fairpark.org/index.php?option
The Chinese Lantern Festival is wheelchair- and scooter-friendly. All 22 lantern sets are visible from paved walkways, allowing the same encounters with the lanterns as for able-bodied visitors, save for three lanterns. Close-up access to them involves travel over uneven ground. On the north side of the lagoon, the path is interrupted by a few steps. To see all those lanterns, visitors can double back and approach from the other side. Exercise caution in one small section of rough pavement (between 'Faces of Peking Opera' and 'The Mushroom Garden').
Visitors who have medical reasons for using wheelchairs and scooters receive a 50% discount on admission at all times. Wheelchairs are not provided by the Lantern Festival, and are not for rent.
Preferred parking is available for guests in wheelchairs or who have medical conditions which qualify them to use 'handicapped parking'. There is a parking fee of $15 for all vehicles, including those with handicapped tags.
DART trains and busses are accessible, and Fair Park is served by two train stations (see above). For more on DART accessibility, go to http://www.dart.org/riding/accessibility.asp.