Chinese Lantern Festival Returns to Riverfront Park Friday, Sept. 16

Fianna Dickson 509.625.6297

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 4:58 p.m.

Families can kick off the holiday season with the Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival, presented by Avista. The event opens Friday, September 16 in Riverfront Park and runs through Sunday, October 30.

The second-annual festival debuts all new lanterns – about 30 new fully-lit, dazzlingly colorful displays, each one comprised of hundreds of handmade parts.

Additionally, there will be two daily performances by Chinese artisans from Tianyu Culture, the Sichuan, China-based company presenting the Festival. Performances include contortionists, face changing, plate spinners, acrobatics and martial arts. Four times a night, the IMAX will show a documentary about how the lanterns are made and how the festival is produced. Several local food trucks will serve Asian noodles, teriyaki, street food, espresso and kettle corn.

Ticket prices are lower this year:

  • Adults / $15
  • Youth 4-16 / $10
  • Children 3 and under / free
  • Family 4 pack / $40

Discount nights - $2 off admission

  • Seniors 65+ / Tuesdays
  • Active and veteran military / Wednesdays
  • College students / Thursdays

Tickets can be purchased through the website or in person at the festival’s ticket booth, which opens at 4:30 daily. Discount tickets must be purchased in person with a valid ID. School field trips and group tours are available, contact Colleen at 509.625.6640 to make arrangements. Students who tour with their class take home a free ticket to return with an adult.

Twenty-three electricians, engineers and designers from Sichuan, China have spent months constructing displays. Each lantern is comprised of dozens of separate pieces and figurines. The theme this year is tropical, so you’ll see beautiful fish and sea creatures light up the park.

The festival and redevelopment construction cause some pedestrian and bicycle detours through the park. We apologize for the inconvenience this can cause. A map shows detour routes for those looking to get through the park, and people visiting the festival. Affordable parking is available at the marked lots, and with other nearby parking vendors.