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Lantern Festival Summer Exhibit Opens At Missouri Botanical Garden

Tickets are on sale for the Missouri Botanical Garden’s summer exhibit “Lantern Festival: Magic Reimagined” presented by Emerson. The event runs May 23 through August 23. Following critical acclaim and rave reviews from visitors during the 2012 Festival, the Garden has commissioned 22 new sets to once again offer visitors the opportunity to see an event rarely staged outside of Asia. The sets are currently being constructed on the Garden’s grounds using traditional materials including silk, wire and porcelain.

Lantern festivals are a central part of Chinese culture, dating back thousands of years. Today, lantern festivals traditionally mark the Chinese New Year, when complex and ornate lanterns fill cities. Among the sets for this summer’s exhibit is “Soaring Dragon Horse,” located in the Garden’s Central Axis, depicting a well-known symbol in Chinese culture, the dragon horse. The dragon horse is considered a spirit of Heaven and Earth and thought to bring good fortune. “Porcelain Stupas Pagoda” will be constructed with more than 300,000 porcelain pieces including plates, bowls, spoons, teacups, ladles and wine cups. It serves as a replica of the Stupas Pagoda built in the Qing Dynasty in the Manfeilong Village of the Yunnan Province. In keeping with the Garden’s commitment to sustainability, “Giant Dandelion & Panda” will be constructed using recycled water bottles. Visitors will be able to take pictures with the larger-than-life flowers creating a cherished photo opportunity.

In addition to using recycled materials in several sets, the Garden plans to conduct a sale following the conclusion of the festival for St. Louisans to take home their own unique piece of Garden history. Ameren Missouri Pure Power will donate Missouri wind energy credits to offset the electricity required to power the exhibit for nighttime viewing.
There is no additional charge to view the unlit Lanterns during daytime hours, but special evening pricing begins at 6 p.m. on the nights the exhibit is open. Lanterns will not be lit during Whitaker Music Festival evenings.

General admission to the Missouri Botanical Garden is $8; St. Louis City and County residents enjoy discounted admission of $4 and free admission on most Wed. and Sat. mornings until noon. Children ages 12 and younger and Garden members are free.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North and South exit. Free parking is available on site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.

For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577-5100 (toll-free, 1-800-642-8842). Follow the Garden on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/missouribotanicalgarden and http://twitter.com/mobotgarden.

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