The Building Of A Lantern Festival: MWL 2016

Fall is officially here which means Magical Winter Lights 2016 is right around the corner! Construction is underway and we are so excited to share a preview into the hard work that goes into the festival prior to opening day.

Influenced largely by the lantern festivals celebrated in China, MWL aims to fuse the Chinese celebration with a multi-cultural element to more closely embody the people of Houston – the most diverse city in the country.

It all begins in Zigong, China – the “Lantern Town in South Kingdom” – where lantern artists begin assembling intricate, silk lanterns before they are shipped stateside.

Magical Winter Lights Lantern Materials Magical Winter Lights Lantern Materials

Lantern making is an artistry that requires attention to detail and more than 100 artisan and technical workers to create the life-sized displays.

Magical Winter Lights Lantern Making Magical Winter Lights Lantern Artist At Work

Once the initial lantern construction step in China is complete, the lanterns are stored in containers and shipped to Houston.

Magical Winter Lights Lantern Shipping Container Magical Winter Lights Lantern Shipping Container

The lanterns designed for MWL are awe-inspiring in size and color and require strong metal-based frames to properly upholster the silk and lights required to illuminate each lantern design (as shown below). Each year, MWL brings a team of 100 lantern artists from China to ensure proper execution of the lantern exhibits. The artists will have spent more than two months in constructing the hundreds of lanterns expected to illuminate MWL this year.

Magical Winter Lights Lantern Materials

Magical Winter Lights Lantern Materials

This year, Gulf Greyhound Park will be home to MWL. Some of your favorite lanterns from MWL 2015 will return but we have added new attractions that we are so excited for you to experience!  

MWL will have a total of six main attractions: Magical Wonderland, Holiday Market Square, Dinosaur Land, Mystery of the East, Man and Nature, and Landmarks of the World. The Dinosaur Land exhibit will be more interactive than ever before by including dinosaur rides and 3D animation art.

Below is a sneak peek into some of the tents being set up for the the MWL themed sections. If you look closely, you might see some dinosaurs that will be featured this year!

Magical Winter Lights Festival Construction

Magical Winter Lights Festival Construction

A sneak peek into some of the dinosaurs to be featured this year.

MWL is a 52-day holiday festival that offers a unique, multi-cultural celebration for people of all ages to enjoy. The festival includes live entertainment, carnival rides and games, and a food court. We are doing things bigger and better this year and we hope to see you there!

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