photo - wild lights lit up orange dragon, with pink spikes on back from head to tail, with red head scales, blue design markings on face, mouth open, background is trees and night sky

Louisville Zoo to Host One of Largest Lantern Festivals in the Nation

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

The Louisville Zoo is happy to host one of the largest Chinese lantern festivals in the nation — Wild Lights: Asian Lantern Festival at the Louisville Zoo opens March 5, 2020 and runs through April 25, 2020. Wild Lights will be our community’s first-ever outdoor Chinese Lantern Festival. Tickets go on sale December 1, 2019.

Guests will see the Zoo in a whole new light as they walk the path featuring 65 larger-than-life illuminated displays made up of more than 2,000 silk-covered lantern pieces lit by over 50,000 LED lightbulbs. Wild Lights will include crowd favorites like a 131-foot-long dragon, a color-changing panda tree and an African savanna display. Visitors can also interact with some displays as they stroll through a two-story shark tunnel, take a selfie with glowing angel wings or sway on illuminated swings.

Creating a fully immersive cultural experience, the Festival will be rounded out by live Asian performances, handmade Chinese crafts and Asian cuisine.

Wild Lights is in partnership with Tianyu Arts & Culture, an international event design company. Tianyu has produced 56 lantern events in 38 cities welcoming over 258 million visitors.  After successful runs in other major U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Atlanta, Tianyu is expanding on this success in Louisville to create one of the largest lantern festivals in the nation.

Artisans in residence from Zigong city in Sichuan, China — where lantern festivals originated during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) — will arrive in Louisville in February 2020 to begin crafting displays using traditional techniques.

The event is wheelchair and stroller friendly on a paved path. The festival will take place 6:30 – 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday nights from March 5 – April 25, and every night March 30 – April 3.

Tickets to Wild Lights will be on sale December 1.  Louisville Zoo members can purchase in advance online (until 5 p.m. day of the event) for $15.50 for adult, child and senior (60+) and $18.50 at the Zoo’s admission windows. Non-members can purchase general admission tickets in advance online (until 5 p.m. day of the event) for $18.50 for adult, child and senior and $20.50 at the Zoo admission windows. Children 2 and under are free.  Family four-pack pricing is available for $50 for members and $60 for non-members in advance online only; family four-pack ticket buyers must enter the event together. There is a $5 parking fee. Group rates are available for 15 or more for $16.  For more information, visit

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for Wild Lights and inquiries should be directed to the Sponsorship Manager, Terri Lenahan-Downs, at or (502) 238-5330.