China Lights festival a first in North Las Vegas

Lion and dragon dance performances, artistic displays and specialty food menus to celebrate Chinese New Year are a familiar sight at Las Vegas hotels — but not in North Las Vegas.

China Lights, an international lantern festival held by Tianyu Arts & Culture, is set for Jan. 19-Feb. 25 at Craig Ranch Regional Park.

The festival has been held in cities including Milan, Italy; Sydney; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Atlanta; and Spokane, Washington, Tinanyu Arts & Culture event manager Huiyuan Liu said.

Chinese visitors and Chinese Americans have been flocking to Las Vegas to celebrate Chinese New Year for several year, said David Strow, vice president of corporate communications for Boyd Gaming.

China Lights Las Vegas at Craig Ranch will feature 40 large lanterns crafted by Chinese artisans from Zigong, Sichuan, China’s cultural capital for lantern-making. Displays, which are composed of more than 1,000 components that have been welded together, covered with colored silk and hand-painted by artists, require a two-month building process. Some of the artists will be at the event, Liu said.

China Lights also will offer cultural crafts, live entertainment, weekend events and Chinese and fair food.

The show site is about a quarter-mile, and it takes two to three hours to see the entire exhibit, according to the China Lights website.

The event “will provide a good platform to showcase the different cultural diversities that (North Las Vegas) has,” Liu said.

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