China Lights announces exclusive preview night; seeks volunteers, interns

HALES CORNERS -- Organizers of China Lights, the popular Chinese lantern festival at Milwaukee County’s renowned Boerner Botanical Gardens, announced on Wednesday, July 11 the opening of Preview Night tickets sales as well as opportunities to work as interns and volunteers.

China Lights: Panda-mania is a cultural festival that will illuminate the nine-acre botanical gardens with 45 three-foot to three-story handmade lantern displays along a three-quarter-mile walking route. Lantern exhibits of panda habitat and three interactive displays will be among the new highlights at this year’s festival.

Also featured will be two stages for Asian folk-culture performances, a marketplace, and two dining areas with a variety of Asian and Western menu options.

The show will run from Sept. 21–Oct. 21, at Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners.

China Lights (Boerner Botanical Gardens)

Tickets to the Exclusive Preview Night party, Sept. 19, from 6–9 p.m., include close-up parking, admission, three behind-the-scenes tours, a parade, two stage performances, Asian hors d’oeuvres and beverages, artisan craft demonstrations, a collector’s premium, the mobile guide, and one VIP admission ticket for a return visit to the 2018 festival. A limited number of Exclusive Preview Night tickets are available for $100 per person and are currently available online at Beginning Aug. 8, the Preview Night tickets will also be available at the Boerner Botanical Gardens front desk between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

China Lights will be hiring two interns to work in every aspect of event-planning management for two days per week during the full run of the festival. The schedule is flexible. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and should have an interest in gaining experience in this industry. For more information, call 414-525-5628.

China Lights Wisconsin 2017

In addition, volunteer opportunities are available for Line-Minders, Docents, and Exit Guides. Positions must commit to two nights per week for the duration of the festival. Working two to three hours per night, Line-Minders will be greeting patrons, directing them to the appropriate admissions gate, and talking with them as they wait in line. Working two to four hours per night, Docents will guide visitors through the exhibits and provide background information on the displays. Docents may qualify for a stipend. Working three to four hours per night, Exit Guides will be thanking patrons and directing them to the shuttle stop or to the nearby lots. Each volunteer will earn two free VIP tickets to the festival and an invitation to the staff-appreciation party.

Other operational improvements to this year’s show include priority-access tickets, which patrons purchase online and print at home; 10 fully-lit complimentary parking lots (first-come, first-served); and expanded complimentary shuttle service from four outer parking lots to the China Lights entrance.
Festival hours will be 5:30–10 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The event will be closed Mondays. China Lights admission tickets will be valid any night of the regular 2018 schedule.

On-line ticket sales will open Aug. 8, (8/8) at 10:08 a.m. Ticket prices are the following: Child, age 5-17, $12; Adult, age 18-59, $20; Senior, age 60+; one-visit individual VIP package, $30; and unlimited-visit individual Season Pass, $50.

For more information, visit