The lanterns at night are 'big & bright,' deep in the heart of Fair Park

November 27, 2012

Photo credit William Neal
Photo credit William Neal

Each year, the State Fair of Texas manages to be bigger — and this year even brighter — than the last. From the record-breaking Frito Pie to the unfortunate demise of Big Tex, this was certainly one to remember. One new attraction in particular, the Chinese Lantern Festival, continues to make its mark on Fair Park. 

In August, more than 40 Chinese artisans worked around the clock to construct the vibrant silk lanterns. Three 25-foot blossoming lotus flowers were even placed by helicopter into the Fair Park Lagoon. Although many of the lanterns have Chinese roots – some such as the Statue of Liberty and longhorn cattle – give a nod to our American and Texan traditions.  

A preview party held for the official lighting of the lanterns left people of all ages speechless. Children oohed and aahed, while adults Instagrammed their favorite lantern with the perfect filter. The festival also managed to facilitate a marriage proposal. There’s a reason why D Magazine called it the "Asian version of Alice in Wonderland."

Photo credit Mike Mezeul
Photo credit Mike Mezeul

During the State Fair of Texas, nearly 150,000 guests attended this unique transcending of cultures. But if you were caught up mourning the loss of Big Tex or spent all your tickets on a Fletcher’s corny dog, now is your chance to attend the festival. It’s been extended through January 6, 2013. Get all the details at ChineseLanternFestival.com.