STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is getting a makeover before its return to Staten Island this year.
The mega-display of lights — which will take place from Nov. 20 to Jan. 12 at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Livingston — will be nearly double the size of last year’s festival with all new lanterns grouped in different themes, including “under the sea,” wild life, a dinosaur world and traditional Chinese zodiac signs.
“We’re bringing a lot more lanterns from China to Staten Island this year,” said Haokun Liu, NYC Winter Lantern Festival producer. “We’re trying to express traditional Chinese culture to Americans and while we’re doing that, we think the themes will make people very happy.”
SILive.com got an exclusive first look at the new lanterns earlier this week while employees began installing the 40 LED displays, each with an average of 12 pieces, on Snug Harbor’s South Meadow.
The festival also will include live performances on the South Meadow stage. Some of the acts include Tibetan folk dance, plate/bowl spinning, hoop tumbling, straw hat juggling and a face-changing magician.
This year, organizers plan to expand the food options and the holiday market. NYC Winter Lantern Festival merchandise and products from official vendors also will be sold.
The NYC Winter Lantern Festival is produced by New York Events & Entertainment Inc. (NEWYORKEE) and Haitian Culture, and co-produced by Octane Productions. In addition, it is sponsored by Empire Outlets, media partner Staten Island Advance and venue partner Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.
“They’ve just outdone themselves. You’re not going to believe this,” said Aileen Fuchs, CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. “This is such a strong partnership and we’re excited to welcome people again to Staten Island so they can make their New York City memories this year for the holidays. It’s one of the most special things.”
Last year, the event attracted more than 150,000 visitors during its six-week run.
“Empire Outlets is proud to continue to support and sponsor cultural events that enhance the vibrant North Shore community and drives interest for new visitors,” said Joseph Ferrara, principal of BFC Partners. “With the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden as the backdrop, this event will provide locals and tourists an opportunity to explore Staten Island.”
In an effort to address community concerns about traffic and litter, the festival expects to hire 10 to 14 traffic marshals as well as six employees responsible for cleaning the entire event area.
You can purchase tickets at the NYC Winter Lantern Festival website or ShowClix. In addition, organizers are offering two parking options to people when they purchase their tickets at the NYC Winter Lantern Festival website.
The first is VIP parking on-site with the ability to accommodate 50 vehicles. The cost is $20.
The other option, which costs $10, grants vehicles access to the Empire Outlets parking garage at 155 Richmond Terr., entering at Wall Street and Richmond Terrace in St. George, with free shuttle bus service to and from the festival.
There also is public parking at Richmond Terrace and Henderson Avenue. In addition, handicapped parking is available, but those who need accommodations are asked to make note of their request when purchasing their tickets online.
“We’re trying to be mindful of the neighborhood when it comes to parking,” said Jaclyn M. Tacoronte, a spokeswoman for NEWYORKEE. “We’re working very closely with the [NYPD] and Department of Transportation.”
HOW TO ATTEND
The NYC Winter Lantern Festival will take place from Nov. 20 to Jan. 12. Event hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m., and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 10:30 p.m.
The festival is closed Mondays and Tuesdays with the exception of Dec. 30 and 31 from 5 to 10:30 p.m.
General admission is $23 per person; $20 for students and seniors with proper ID, and $17 for children ages 12 and younger. A group rate of $18 per person is available for parties of 30 or more.
Original Story: https://www.silive.com/entertainment/2019/10/exclusive-nyc-winter-lantern-festival-unveils-new-displays-for-its-return-to-staten-island.html