A 200-Foot-Long Dragon Walks into Franklin Square
If you’ve walked by Franklin Square in the past few days, you likely noticed the carousel horses have been getting some flashy company. This Friday is the start of the park’s Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, which will feature 25 lanterns lit up nightly through June 12. These aren’t twinkling tea lights: We’re talking an 18,000-pound, 200-foot-long dragon, a four-story pagoda, and a sleuth of cute/vaguely creepy pandas (am I the only one getting the feeling they want us to come play with them forever and ever?)
Most of the lanterns were made in Zigong in the Sichuan province of China, and 20 Chinese artists are here installing them and putting on the finishing touches. During the daytime, entry to Franklin Square will be free as usual, but come 6 p.m. you’ll need a ticket to get in to the festival. It’s a little steep, at $17 for adults, $12 for kids (17 and under) and $15 for seniors, but along with the opportunity to see the lit lanterns up close and personal, there will be performances, including a traditional Chinese “face-changing” show, plus vendors selling themed crafts and food.
Since we can never have enough beer gardens, the Dragon Beer Garden will be popping up in Franklin Square for the duration of the festival, with alcohol available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And yes, you can still get a Cake Shake at SquareBurger.
Here’s a peek at some of the lanterns, from the company bringing them to Philly.