Lantern Light Festival at Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton

A spectacular evening of massive illuminated lanterns, live performances and delicious cuisine at the Lantern Light Festival in Pleasanton, now through January 20, 2019.

PLEASANTON, Calif. – If you’re looking for an exciting and unique way to usher out the old year or ring in the new one, consider taking part in a Chinese celebration that dates back 2,000 years. The Lantern Light Festival is at the Alameda County Fairgrounds from now until January 20th. While the Festival shares some elements with the Chinese New Year, like dragons and mouthwatering cuisine, it’s traditionally intended to mark the return of spring.

Lantern Light Festival acrobats

Photo courtesy: Lantern Light Festival

This would make a fun date night for anyone interested in “dinner and a show.” Festival goers can visit the many food vendors and enjoy a variety of live performances including Chinese acrobats who twirl, spin and defy gravity in brightly colored costumes. If you’re looking for a family outing during winter break, the Festival is kid friendly. Children will enjoy mining for “emeralds,” playing a round of mini golf, bouncing in inflatables and noshing on traditional Chinese treats. The whole family can travel to Beijing, minus the jet lag, via a trip to the Forbidden City maze.

lantern tunnel

Photo courtesy: Lantern Light Festival

While all the sights and activities are bound to captivate, the pièce de résistance is, naturally, the lanterns. Each one has been created to look like three-dimensional stained glass and was handcrafted by a team of artisans over a period of four weeks. Besides being beautiful, the lanterns are also meaningful as they symbolize an illuminated future and the reunion of family. Made from hundreds of pieces of red silky cloth, these lanterns don’t float away. Instead, they light up the night from the ground up. Each lantern varies in size with the largest towering at a massive 300 feet high.

Lantern Light Festival operah fan

Photo courtesy: Lantern Light Festival

The Lantern Light Festival is a thrill for your senses. You’ll revel in the pageantry, delight in the artistry, and be mesmerized by the radiance of an illuminated 400-foot long dragon, 30-foot panda and a castle that you can explore.


Photo courtesy: Lantern Light Festival

If you go: The Lantern Light Festival is at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. Enter at gates 8 or 12 (corner of Bernal and Valley Ave). Tickets are $23 for adults, $18 for children ages 3-12, and free for children under 3. Purchase tickets online or at the gate up to 45 minutes before closing.

Open now through January 20, 2019
Thursday & Sunday 5-10pm
Friday & Saturday 5-11pm

Extended Holiday Hours:
December 20 – January 6
Open daily: Sunday – Thursday 5-10pm; Friday & Saturday 5-11pm.

New Year’s Eve:
Monday, December 31: 5pm-1am.

For more information, call 651.504.2000 or visit