LANTERNS! Festival ignites magic in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, AR - LANTERNS!, Arkansas’ only deep-winter outdoor festival, is returning to Little Rock for a fourth year of family fun and illuminating entertainment. From the China to the Moon, LANTERNS!, is a magical evening designed to delight children and adults alike.

This year the festival will be held Thursday through Saturday, February 2 - 4, 2012, from 6 pm to 10 pm, at Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Road, in west Little Rock. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 – 12 and free for children ages 5 & younger. New this year is a free shuttle from the parking lot at Kroger, located at Chenal Parkway and its eastern Kanis intersection.

A wide selection of international foods and beverages are available for purchase, with prices from $2 - $8. Patrons can exchange cash or credit card for Wild Bucks, the Park’s currency utilized for food and luminary purchases.

At Wildwood, visitors will take a mystical stroll along paved pathways lit by fire pits and luminaries into the park’s winter woodlands to enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor entertainment at lighted vistas representing eight cultural vistas around the globe: China, Paris, India, Shakespeare’s England, Venice, India, Americana with a baseball theme, and Shakespeare’s England.

LANTERNS! celebrates the first full moon of the lunar year. Honoring the Chinese Year of the Dragon. China offers vegetarian fare, hot tea and sake.

Inside Wildwood’s 625-seat performing arts complex, the lobbies and stage will be transformed into a Parisian street market filled with the aromas of crepes, as well as antiques vendors, a French fortune teller, and nightly performances by Ballet Arkansas and The Muses.

Wildwood’s lakeside performance pad will transport festival-goers to the carnival atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro, guests will have the opportunity to purchase foods and beverages created by Little Rock’s Café Bossa Nova and Rosalia’s Family Bakery, including caldo de feijao (traditional bean soup) with yucca root puffs, and caipirinhas, a popular Brazilian drink, and plan to dance the night away to the rhythmic Brazilian sounds of a five-piece bossa nova band led by Susana Menda.
Further east in Wildwood’s Butler Arboretum, the young and young-at-heart can pitch baseballs for prizes. Little Rock’s famous Hot Dog Mike will create selections reminiscent of America’s favorite past-time.

For additional information visit www.wildwoodpark.org or call (501) 821-7275.
¡Hola! Arkansas Staff Writers

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