4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), July 30, 2014 - The Missouri Botanical Garden will play host to an international exhibition of 22 lighted works of art from Zigong, China when it debuts "Lantern Festival: Magic Reimagined" in 2015.
Following critical acclaim and rave reviews from visitors during the 2012 Festival, the Garden has commissioned new sets crafted from silk and steel to once again offer visitors from around the world the opportunity to see an event rarely staged outside of Asia. Lantern Festival will again be an outdoor, evening display running May 23 to August 22, 2015.
"We were overwhelmed with the reaction our 2012 Lantern Festival received and for the last two years have heard from so many people asking if another festival would ever be held," said Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
"At the same time, we have continued our botanical research in China, and feel it is fitting to highlight the growing number of botanical gardens in that country as we celebrate the continued contributions the Missouri Botanical Garden makes in science on a global scale."
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. The 22 sets that will be seen during Lantern Festival 2015 will be constructed using traditional materials including silk, wire and porcelain. Each set will include interpretation detailing the design's tradition, symbolism and meaning.
Among the planned sets 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.
There is no additional charge to view the 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.
WHAT: "Lantern Festival: Magic Reimagined"
WHEN: Open Thursday-Sunday evenings from May 23 to July 31, 2015. Open nightly from August 1-22, 2015 from 6 to 10 p.m.
COST: May 23-July 31: $22 adults, $11 members, $10 children (ages 3-12), $5 for members' children.
August 1-22: $26 adults, $13 members, $10 children (ages 3-12), $5 for members' children. Tickets available for purchase beginning November 1, 2014.
Related Archived Stories 2012:
Chinese Lantern Festival Glows Magically by Night
Chinese Lantern Festival Celebrates a Long Friendship
The Missouri Botanical Garden, fondly known as Shaw's Garden to St. Louisans, contains a formal English garden, traditional Japanese garden, Margaret Blanke Grigg Chinese garden, the Flower Trial Garden, greenhouses and extensive landscaping. The garden also features the Climatron Complex, water lily reflection ponds and the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening.
The Climatron® geodesic dome and rainforest conservatory was dedicated 40 years ago in October 1960, replacing an old house built in 1913. The structure incorporates principles established by innovative architect R. Buckminster Fuller and was the first application of geodesic engineering for a greenhouse. The St. Louis architecture firm of Murphy & Mackey developed plans for the facility with Garden director Frits W. Went, who coined the term, Climatron.
The dome is 70 feet high and 175 feet in diameter, permitting tall palm trees to tower majestically above the tropical vista of streams, waterfalls and 1,200 different species of exotic trees and plants. Temperature ranges from 64 to 74 degrees and average humidity is 85 percent.
Visitors can enjoy a sense of being in a jungle while making their way by orchids, passion flowers, hibiscus flowers, cycads and a number of endangered species. In 1976, the dome was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history.
The Garden, covering 79 acres, is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd, just south of Hwy 44 between Vandeventer and Grand. Extended summer hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays only from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Free parking on premises, as well as an extensive gift shop and restaurant with patio dining. For more information, call the GardenLine at 314-577-9400 or 800-642-8842.
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