SAN DIEGO, CA – A holiday celebration that draws 400,000 people a year to Sacramento is opening in San Diego for first time this season. Global Winter Wonderland, an international celebration featuring the largest display of traditional Chinese lanterns outside of China – along with Cirque du Soleil-level acrobatics, 35+ carnival rides, holiday-themed activities, games, and international food and shopping – premieres at SDCCU Stadium, Nov. 19, 2017 through Jan. 7, 2018.
Global Winter Wonderland’s large luminescent, hand-crafted lanterns are inspired by international landscapes from around the world, such as the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower. A true “Circus of Lights,” the event will feature more than 50 life-size structures, many of which are being newly designed and constructed for San Diego.
San Diego marks the fourth city to host this distinctive event. In addition to the Chinese lanterns, food, rides and live entertainment, visitors can explore their creative side at an interactive craft center, designing their own ornaments, decorating lanterns and participating in a variety of interactive games. Children can also take photos with mascot Penny the Penguin and write letters to Santa Claus when visiting Toyland, Candyland and the North Pole.
Nearly 100 Chinese artisans will arrive in San Diego up to eight weeks prior to the event to design and hand-sew the intricate lantern displays that can reach heights of 20 feet. The art of designing and illuminating lanterns by hand is a rich Chinese custom dating back 2,000 years.
International Culture Exchange Group (ICEG), the producer of Global Winter Wonderland, was founded by President Lulu Huang, a Chinese native whose vision was to re-create this vibrant multi-cultural festival in the U.S.
“This is a great event to add to San Diego’s holiday season,” said Mark Neville, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Games. “This festival will bring jobs and visitors to San Diego at a time when we have some of the best weather of the year.”
San Diego has not hosted a large-scale holiday lights attraction since 2013 when the Holiday of Lights attraction at the Del Mar fairgrounds closed after nearly two decades.
Tickets can be purchased online starting October 25 at globalwonderland.com. Adult tickets are $18, while children (ages 4-12) and senior (aged 62 or older) are $16.
For more information, including a full schedule of events, please visit globalwonderland.com.