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Put the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival on your calendar if you are planning a trip to the Triangle area soon. Thousands of lights and lanterns illuminate the night sky during this festival. The festival I attended in 2019 was absolutely magical, right before the pandemic.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival in 2020 was canceled. I was extremely upset because I found this event to be one of the most magical things I’ve ever witnessed. It’s back after a year of waiting! The lanterns will shine brightly in Cary, North Carolina, for the sixth time this year.

The festival will take place at the Koka Booth Amphitheater beginning on Friday and running until January 9. Visitors are expected to come from across the state to see the glowing pieces of art, according to Visit Raleigh. The 36 displays include 2,500 lanterns and more than 15,000 LED lights, including the spectacular Chinese Dragon.

In addition to the kaleidoscope you can step inside, there is a lotus garden, friendly killer whales, a cherry blossom forest where adorable pandas await you, and a magnificent peacock. If you want a sneak preview, check out my photos of my 2019 visit below.

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige