Chinese Lantern Festival at Daniel Stowe Garden canceled

A festival that drew hundreds of thousands of visitors on its first stop in the

A festival that drew hundreds of thousands of visitors on its first stop in the Charlotte region will not have an encore this year.

The popular Chinese Lantern Festival, scheduled to begin Oct. 15 in Belmont, has been canceled, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden said Thursday in a statement.

Hanart Culture’s festival was featured at the garden in fall 2017 and attracted more than 100,000 visitors in eight weeks, according to the statement. More than 800 hand-crafted Chinese lanterns were set up on 12-plus acres in the formal gardens and public spaces, the Observer previously reported.

The festival had previously been rescheduled from August to October because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The show’s producer is based in the U.S. but depends on Chinese artists. U.S. embassies and consulate offices are closed or operating on a limited basis throughout Asia, so Hanart Culture was unable to secure visas because of “ever-changing policies,” a trickle effect of COVID-19, according to the garden.

Lanterns shaped as tigers were part of the Chinese Lantern Festival at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont in 2017. The festival has been canceled for 2020. John D. Simmons Observer file photo

“We had become confident in our ability to implement an incredible experience in a safe and healthy manner, but rescheduling at this time isn’t practical,” said Jim Hoffman, the garden’s interim executive director.

Ticket holders can receive a refund or receive a deal on tickets to the annual Holidays at the Garden beginning in late November. More details about this year’s event will be released soon.

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Catherine Muccigrosso is the retail business reporter for The Charlotte Observer. An award-winning journalist, she has worked for multiple newspapers and McClatchy for more than a decade.

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