I went to see China Lights last night and on a Tuesday there was a long line of cars creeping through Whitnall Park towards Boerner Botanical Gardens. After finally parking, the ticket lines were also long. (Buy your tickets in advance, online!) The show, billed as a "lantern festival," opened Oct. 1. I can only imagine what the weekend was like. The only time I've ever seen so many people at a Milwaukee County Park has been at O'Donnell for fireworks displays. China lights has a similar sense of spectacle.
The show is definitely a crowd pleaser and family-friendly. I wasn't all that interested in the animals and cartoon characters myself, but the multitudes of children who were there--including my granddaughter--definitely were.
The highlight for me was the woodland boardwalk with the overhead lanterns (above and below).
Here are a few more images I managed to catch in the dark.
According to John Dargle, Milwaukee County Parks Director, this is normally the slowest time of the garden season at Boerner Gardens. "With China Lights we now expect it to be the busiest season," he said. There have been an estimated 20,000 visitors to date, with two more weeks to go!
China Lights was organized by The Park People and proceeds will benefit them as well as Boerner Botanical Gardens.