“Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience” fills Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo with dazzling, giant sculptures of dragons, pandas, crabs, tigers, fish and flamingos lit from within by LED lights.
More than 50 displays, crafted of fabric stretched over frames of metal rods, illuminate the zoo’s 72 acres through Nov. 1. (Update: They’ve extended the exhibition through Nov. 15.)
They’re made in China by Tianyu Arts and Culture, the Chicago-based subsidiary of Sichuan Tianyu Culture Communication Co., Ltd., headquartered in the city of Zigong in China’s Sichuan Province. The firm has adapted traditional Chinese lantern festivals to create spectacles for zoos, botanical gardens and festivals in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Tucson, Louisville, Milwaukee, Albuquerque and elsewhere.
The Boston display includes a 66-foot-long shark that you can walk through, a 26-foot-tall panda, and a 197-foot-long dragon. Many of the lanterns here are part of the company’s touring presentation, but Zoo New England says the lit-up salamanders, Blanding’s turtles, and arches spanning the zoo’s entrances were custom made for the Franklin Park Zoo.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, visitors are required to buy timed tickets, wear masks, and maintain social distancing.