Spectacular Leeds lantern festival had 100,000 visitors - and it’s coming back next year

24 November 2016.......    Magical Lantern Festival in Tropical World and Roundhay Park, Leeds.  Picture Tony Johnson.
24 November 2016....... Magical Lantern Festival in Tropical World and Roundhay Park, Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson.
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A spectacular display of Chinese lanterns at Leeds’ Roundhay Park attracted a staggering 100,000 visitors by its final day.

The Magical Lantern Festival, which featured some 40,000 light bulbs and 30 giant, handmade displays, welcomed tens of thousands of guests by its last day on Monday after it opened at the end of November.

24 November 2016.......    Magical Lantern Festival in Tropical World and Roundhay Park, Leeds.  Picture Tony Johnson.

24 November 2016....... Magical Lantern Festival in Tropical World and Roundhay Park, Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson.

The festival’s creative director, Ian Xiang, has now revealed the popular attraction will return next winter and, to celebrate, there is a chance for one person to have their own design made into a special Yorkshire Lantern to be displayed at the 2017 event.

Mr Xiang said: “We are delighted with the response to our first ever Magical Lantern Festival in Yorkshire.

“Around 100,000 people visited the Roundhay Park event since it opened in late November, which is absolutely amazing. This exceeded our expectations and we’d like to say thank you to everyone who visited.

“We are now planning on returning to Yorkshire next winter, so the work begins again now.”

24 November 2016.......    Magical Lantern Festival in Tropical World and Roundhay Park, Leeds.  Picture Tony Johnson.

24 November 2016....... Magical Lantern Festival in Tropical World and Roundhay Park, Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson.

This year’s lantern festival was the first time the event had come to Yorkshire following a successful UK launch in London last year. Visitors entered the attraction through a giant, 16-metre wide lantern entrance feature before strolling through the park’s paths to discover multi-coloured lanterns in all shapes, sizes and colours – from Santa and reindeers to flowers and animals.

Ahead of the launch in November, Mr Xiang said: “When I first came to the UK more than a decade ago, I realised there wasn’t a major lantern festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year and that’s when I decided I wanted to bring something so that people could experience what millions of people have been enjoying for thousands of years across Asia.

“Family is a big part of the global celebrations and that’s at the heart of what we are doing in Leeds, creating an event that can be enjoyed as a family.” The event supported the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

The new competition, which has been launched in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, is inviting people to submit a design or concept for a lantern display that represents the very best in Yorkshire to magical@yorkshire.com.

The winner will have their Yorkshire Lantern created in China along with all the other new lantern designs for next winter’s festival.

The deadline for competition entries is midnight on January 31. For full details visit www.yorkshire.com/inspiration/the-magical-lantern-festival-competition

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