‘Animals Aglow’ lantern festival coming to the Saint Louis Zoo

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ST. LOUIS — The zoo has a new evening lantern festival called, “Animals Aglow.” This is a first for the Saint Louis Zoo and will feature 60 Chinese lanterns with interactive light displays in the shape of animals and plants.  

The dates for the event are March 13 to May 5, 2024. Tickets will go on sale starting January 31 and can be bought online on the Zoo’s website. There is free admission for children under two.

“We are thrilled to bring this entirely new immersive experience to St. Louis,” said Michael Macek, Saint Louis Zoo Director. “It’s a celebration of wildlife, Chinese culture and the artistry of lantern making.” 

Admission to Animals Aglow includes access to the Zoo’s Emerson Dinoroarus exhibit and nightly Chinese cultural performances.  

The event will feature traditional handicrafts for purchase and food specials including pork steam buns, firecracker chicken, dumplings in chili crisp broth and taiyaki, a Japanese fish-shaped cake. 

This event was created in partnership with Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., an international event design and manufacturing company headquartered in Zigong, Sichuan, China.  

Artisans with Tianyu make the lanterns by hand by weaving thousands of LED lights over metal frames before covering the structures in colorful silks.  

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The animals will not be viewable, and no animal buildings will be open during this event. Parking is free on both Zoo parking lots during the event. Lots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and may reach capacity.  

If lots are full, limited street parking within the boundaries of Forest Park is also available for free. The Zoo will close to the public at 5 p.m. Doors reopen at 6:30 p.m. for the event. 

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