The arrival of The Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival marked Riverfront Park's biggest event since the World's Fair was in Spokane in 1974. It was the first Chinese lantern festival ever held in the United States.
A team from Sichuan Province in Southwest China spent two months constructing and hand-painting the thousands of illuminated fabric sculptures.
Lanterns came in all shapes. Windmills. Flying dragons. Fruits of the fall harvest. Castles. A recreation of a traditional Chinese wedding. Hundreds of dinosaurs, zebras, pandas, ants, and more. Such a wonderland rivals the best Christmas light displays.
The event featured cultural dancing and music on the main stage, and a covered restaurant served authentic Chinese food that rotated weekly to showcase the wide variety of options. Judging by the awestruck visitors arriving from across the Northwest, the festival organizers hope to make it an annual event.
And for those of you interested in studying Chinese, EWU offers first-year Chinese in the Modern Languages Department.