The event will be located at University Place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is hosted by the Chinese School at Chapel Hill.
“The LightUp lantern festival creates a great opportunity to let the community as a whole know more about itself,” said Alice Hsu, principal of the Chapel Hill Chinese and Language Culture School, which will also participate in the festival.
“Getting to know other people’s background and culture in this festival would facilitate more understanding about each other and together grow the community toward a friendlier atmosphere.”
The festival will feature cultural crafts, activities, performances, food, cultural exhibits and interactive activities, including lantern decorating and a dragon dance workshop.
“In this festival we focus a lot on learning and sharing about a culture in a more interactive way — we don’t appreciate from a distance, we actually do it,” said Ting-Ting Chu, the artistic director for the festival.
A lot of the activities within the festival are sponsored by local Chapel Hill businesses, including the Kidzu Children’s Museum. The museum will have an interactive activity teaching children how to make their own paper circuits, said Rose Cuomo, the community outreach and special programs coordinator at Kidzu.
“We wanted to bring some of our STEM education that we highlight at the museum right directly into the festival,” Cuomo said. “Also, we were really excited to have an opportunity to be part of an event that is representative of Chapel Hill’s diverse community, and just excited to see something new happening in the community.”
Four Chapel Hill-Carrboro public schools are participating in the festival as well. Students have decorated their own lanterns, which will be up for auction at the event. All of the proceeds will be returned to the schools for future art projects.
“The students truly showed their talents, and the lanterns are beautiful,” Chu said. “This festival belongs to the whole community, so we really appreciate this opportunity.”
The festival’s climax will come at the end when the community comes together to light the lanterns, Chu said.
“The way we designed it was to make it more like a community art project,” Chu said. “It does not just have meaning attached to the lantern itself, but also just to show the celebration of cultural diversity, because every lantern is going to be different just like we as a community are all different.”
Chu wants to reinforce the ideal that everyone in the community is invited to the festival.
“We would like to instill this visual impact, this visual representation of all many lanterns coming together to give us this idea of the whole community coming together,” Chu said.
“That’s why we try to promote this by inviting the whole community to come pick up a lantern and join in on the fun of creating something, and making sure everyone has a share in creating this art performance all together.”