The Queens County Farm Museum lit up like Times Square on Friday, Dec. 2, with local politicians flipping the switch to illuminate hundreds of artisan-made lanterns for the second New York City Winter Lantern Festival.
Jennifer Weprin, executive director of the Queens County Farm, welcomed City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and State Senator John Liu to the grand illumination of the lantern festival brought to the farm by Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group.
Haokun Liu, who produces the festival as a partner at Kaleido Arts & Entertainment Group, explained that preparation for the festival begins six months in advance.
“Everything here is hand-made,” said Liu. “We have over 100 artisans in China who make (the lanterns). Then we ship everything here from the Sichuan province and 23 artists travel from China to New York (to assemble the final production).”
“We have four different events in the New York area,” Liu added, “but Queens County Farm is definitely one of our best events this year.”
As families with young children and curious teenagers alike eagerly awaited the grand reveal, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams praised the festival as a unique and growing tradition for Queens.
“Visitors from across the city and beyond enjoyed the creative and innovative exhibit,” Adams said of the festival’s first year. “It is truly a memorable experience for everyone that is now back by popular demand for its second year. The festival serves as an educational vehicle through which visitors can learn about Chinese art and culture. Through this event, people of all backgrounds have an opportunity to appreciate its importance and beauty, and that’s what our Queens is all about.”
“The Chinese tradition of lantern making has been passed down from generation to generation, dating back as far as the Han Dynasty,” Richards said. “As the world’s borough, we proudly embrace our rich diversity and share our cultures and customs with each other. This event is an exciting new way for the Queens County Farm Museum to provide learning opportunities and to keep visitors coming to this site all winter long.”
“Bringing the Winter Lantern Festival to a 325 year-old farm and preserving it for a brand new generation of young people is an example of the great partnerships that make Queens so special,” said Adams. “I encourage all New Yorkers to come by and check it out.”
For more information about the Winter Lantern Festival, visit queensfarm.org/illuminate-the-farm.