Chinese lantern festival gears up for possible return to Tysons this winter

A “crocodile passage” lantern is among the displays planned for the next Winter Lantern Festival in Tysons (courtesy Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group)

Though it may be hard to believe on a 100-degree day, winter will come to Fairfax County again, and when it does, Kaleido Entertainment and Arts Group will be ready.

The company hopes to bring its Winter Lantern Festival back to Tysons after a buzzy and evidently successful inaugural run from Dec. 16, 2022 to Feb. 12 of this year.

For the festival’s return to the D.C. area, Kaleido is planning an even longer season that will kick off around Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 and continue through Feb. 18, according to a special permit application filed with Fairfax County on July 20.

While the previous event was allowed under a temporary special permit, the festival needs to get the Board of Zoning Appeals’ approval this time, because it will last longer than 21 days.

Like before, the event will feature hundreds of illuminated paper lanterns crafted into animals, natural and mythic scenes, and other designs. A list in the application suggests the displays will be laid out in quadrants according to four themes: ocean song, animal world, creative technology and cartoon paradise.

If approved, the festival will again be held in Lerner Town Square at Tysons II (8025 Galleria Drive). The proposed operating hours are 5-9:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Kaleido anticipates having 10 employees on site and 2,000 patrons, though it’s unclear whether that’s per day or over the festival’s full stay. A public relations consultant for the company didn’t return a request for comment from FFXnow by press time.

“Patrons came by cars [or Metro] from 5 pm – 9pm after work on weekends. Last year there were no reported traffic concerns or accidents,” the application’s statement of justification says. “We expect NO negative impact of traffic in and out of Tysons during the hours of operation.”

According to the statement, Tysons II property owner Lerner has agreed to provide 6,046 parking spaces for the festival at five office buildings in the development, which also encompasses Tysons Galleria.

“It is much more than needed,” the application says.

The county hasn’t officially accepted the application for review yet, so the zoning appeals board hearing doesn’t have a scheduled date.

Read more on FFXnow…

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