Chinese Lantern Festival Returns To Philly

by Alex Lloyd Gross

The Chinese Lantern Festival is back and runs until August 18, 2024. The grand opening was last night and it proves once again that you cannot do this event in one night. There is just too much to see and do. Yes, you can walk around quickly and be done but that is not what this kind of event is about.

Alex Lloyd Gross Photo-Delaware Valley Acrobats put chairs together to sit in for their show.

It starts to get dark around 9:00 PM and that is when things turn magical. The Franklin Square Park comes to life, with dozens of different displays. Some are more elaborate than others. Most of it has changed and evolved over the past years, New displays, new things to see and do.

Alex Lloyd Gross Photo-Delaware Valley A mechanical dragon is all lit up.

A lot of the displays are interactive. Parrots that repeat what you say, a Frogger type game, and a hand crank on a miniature dragon, for example. The large dragon is back and walkways are illuminated with elaborate coverings..

The lanterns are paper machete and they are hand made. It’s not just lanterns, there are exhibits and shows. An acrobat sits on precariously on some chairs and then he turns himself upside down without falling or without help. He makes it look easy.

This event is a photographers paradise. Especially at night. Daytime is simple. At night, you will want to bump your ISO up higher to at least 3200. Keep the camera steady . Play around with your exposure to get the image you want. Don’t be afraid to put the camera in manual mode and experiment with different exposures. As the light changes, so will your exposure.

Franklin Square Park is located at 6th and Race Streets in Philadelphia.