In Festival Guide

China Lights returns to the Boerner Botanical Gardens for the third straight year.

China Lights - this time panda-themed - returns for a third run

Boerner Botanical Gardens, 9400 W. Boerner Dr., in Hales Corners will host the popular "China Lights" Chinese lantern festival for the third straight year.

"China Lights: Panda-mania" is slated for Sept. 21–Oct. 21, in the gardens at Whitnall Park.

The show is again organized by Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc.

"This is a spectacular event that brings people together from across Milwaukee County and well beyond," said County Executive Chris Abele in a statement. "We are thrilled to bring back this partnership with China Lights and our Parks."

After a number of extensions the first year, when the festival exploded all expectations in terms of popularity, the event returned last year, drawing visitors from 44 states and Washington, D.C.

This year, the festival will include a number of panda-related lantern displays among the exhibits, which range from three feet to three stories in size and are dotted around the gardens, alongside Asian cultural performances, food areas and more.

"There's something magical about the combination of this show at this location," said Kristen J. Talbott, senior vice president of Tri City National Bank, the show's sponsor. "Boerner Botanical Gardens is, quite simply, the best venue to see this show. The displays are perfectly integrated into the garden spaces."

The festival will be open daily, except Mondays, from 5:30 until 10 p.m.

Online ticket sales open on Aug. 8, at 10:08 a.m. (a nod to the association in Chinese culture of the number eight with good luck) and include a limited number of exclusive preview tickets, a season pass and a single-visit VIP package.

Free parking will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at the event.

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