• Kristin Guglietti

Chinese Lantern Festival returns to Philadelphia


The dragon is back at the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival. (THG/Kristin Guglietti)

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square is back and brighter than ever.

The lanterns will illuminate Franklin Square at 6th and Race Streets in Historic Philadelphia from June 21 to August 14 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly with more than 30 larger-than-life displays radiant in brilliant colors.


Grab your camera and a friend because there are many photo ops you don’t want to miss. At the festival, highlights include the return of the 200-foot-long dragon, giant Temple of Heaven, a panda bamboo forest, a kaleidoscope selfie spot, fountain shows and more.


“Today, lantern festivals are still held each year around the country. Each major Chinese city has its own light festival which attract millions of visitors and tourists. During Chinese New Year, families go out to view the beautiful lanterns created by Chinese artists. Each light sculpture tells a legend or symbolizes an old Chinese story,” the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival press release read.


The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square will run nightly till August 14. (THG/Kristin Guglietti)

The last Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival was in 2019, and in 2022 guests can expect to see new performances.


Performances include a mysterious face changer, dancers and acrobats. These performers from China will demonstrate incredible and impressive feats of strength, balance and form. There will be three 30-minute performances each night of the festival interspersed with fountain shows. Performances are free with Festival admission and are subject to change.


“One of the reasons that it was so important to do this festival again was for Chinatown. We hope that you visit Chinatown before and after the festival and please tell your friends to go and visit Chinatown,” Amy Needle, CEO and President of Historic Philadelphia, said.


Katherine Ngee, Board Secretary of Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC), explained the Panda Promotions Program.


“In cooperation with Historic Philadelphia Incorporated, PCDC has developed the Panda Promotions Program with local Chinatown businesses. Providing discounts or special offers when guests show their ticket to the festival before or after visiting,” Ngee said.


Ticket Information:


During the festival, Franklin Square is open during regular daytime hours. The lanterns can be viewed for free during daytime, while a ticket is required for nighttime entrance after 6 p.m. with no reentry. Advanced tickets are strongly recommended with limited tickets for sale on site.


Tickets cost $12 - $23. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under and must be accompanied by an adult.


Tickets may be purchased at www.phillychineselanternfestival.org.


The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square is a rain or shine event. Tickets may be rescheduled with 24 hours advance notice. If conditions force a cancellation of the festival, ticket-holders will be notified via email. For further information on weather and cancellations, visit the website at www.phillychineselanternfestival.org.


Food and Beverage:


The Dragon Beer Garden is open nightly until 10 p.m. Specialty cocktails include Green Tea Cocktail, Peking Gin & Ginger, Pink Lady, Paloma, Bourbon Lemonade and several mocktails.


Taste delicious Asian food at Sang Kee. Chinese selections from one of Chinatown’s premiere restaurants including spicy grilled chicken in steam bun, Dan Dan noodles, vegetable fried rice, steamed meat dumplings, General Tao’s chicken, coconut shrimp, pineapple and watermelon smoothies, lemon grass green tea and more.


Oishii, located at the Dragon Beer Garden, will have assorted Asian options including seaweed salad, shrimp tempura, chicken satay, Korean meatballs, fried ice cream, mochi ice cream and more.


Comfort food is available at SquareBurger, which will have burgers, grilled cheese, churros and the Cake Shake.


Four of the five contest winners stand next to the tiger lantern they designed. The selected designers are: Evelyn Dinozo, 9, of Levittown; Samantha Ehling, 14, of Philadelphia; Georgia Freeman, 11, of Philadelphia; Aniaya Hillian, 14, of Philadelphia; and Grace Siegel, 10, of Philadelphia. (THG/Kristin Guglietti)

Student Design Contest:


The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival Student Design Contest presented by Temple University gives area students the opportunity to design a lantern for the 2022 festival. Children ages 8-14 were invited to submit a drawing of a tiger to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. Selected drawings were crafted into lanterns and will be displayed during the festival. The selected designers are: Evelyn Dinozo, 9, of Levittown; Samantha Ehling, 14, of Philadelphia; Georgia Freeman, 11, of Philadelphia; Aniaya Hillian, 14, of Philadelphia; and Grace Siegel, 10, of Philadelphia. The students will be able to take the lantern home with them at the conclusion of the festival.


Other Highlights:


Philly Mini Golf presented by IBEW Local 98: Putt around the city on this Philadelphia-themed miniature golf course. $10 adults/$8 children (3-12); free for children under 2.


Parx Liberty Carousel: Hop on this spectacular all-American style carousel. Ages 3 and up: $2.50 per ride; free for children 2 and under.


Playgrounds: Slides, swings and spinners…bring the kids and enjoy two playgrounds! Open year-round and free.


Pagoda Gift Shop: A variety of traditional and playful merchandise options will be for sale including hand-made crafts, festival-themed items and colorful lantern-inspired gifts.


For more information visit www.phillychineselanternfestival.org.