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North Carolina Chinese Lantern Fest will return to Cary

The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival will return to Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre in November, the venue announced Tuesday.

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Kathy Hanrahan, Out
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CARY, N.C. — The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival will return to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre in November, the venue announced Tuesday.

This is the fifth year the event will light up the amphitheatre for the holiday season. The festival was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

There will be more than 20 new displays, each including thousands of LED lights. In addition to the displays, there will be nightly performances on the main stage.

The festival will run Nov. 19, 2021, through Jan. 9, 2022. The event opens to the general public 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly.

Any day tickets are on sale now. Special package tickets go on sale July 9 at noon. Tickets for specific days go on sale Aug. 6 at noon.

There are some new ticket options this year, including a Twilight Ticket, which grants admission to the event 90 minutes prior to the event opening to the general public. It is designed for people for want a little extra time and more room to move around with a reduced crowd. Tickets will be for a specific date and are offered Thursday through Sunday starting at 4:30 p.m. and are $25 for those 13 years and older, $15 for children ages 3 to 12 years old. Children 2 years and under are admitted for free. Twilight Tickets will not be available Dec. 19 through Jan. 2.

The VIP (Very Important Panda) Tour includes a guided tour of the event that explains how the lanterns are made and how they are transported from China to North Carolina. This tour runs about 45 minutes and runs Monday through Wednesday. Reservations are required. Tours start at 4:35 p.m. Tickets are date and time specific and are $35 per adult and $20 for children ages 3 to 12 years old. The tour will not available Dec. 19 through Jan. 2.

The "Light Up Your Learning" option is designed for educators and parents who want to teach children more about Chinese culture. It includes a free 5-day bundle of lesson plans for grades K-5 available for download. Educators are encouraged to plan a day-time field trip to the festival for a self-guided tour. Reservations are required for field trips to limit crowds. These tickets are offered Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. through noon. Tickets are $7 for any age and children ages 2 years and younger are admitted free. Tickets will be date specific.

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Kathy Hanrahan, Reporter

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