LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The dragons are coming: The Louisville Zoo will host one of the nation’s largest Chinese lantern festivals next year, and tickets will go on sale Dec. 1.

The zoo said that its “Wild Lights: Asian Lantern Festival” will dazzle guests with 65 larger-than-life illuminated displays consisting of more than 2,000 silk-covered lantern pieces lit by more than 50,000 LEDs.

Displays include a color-changing panda tree, a two-story shark tunnel and a 131-foot dragon, zoo officials said in a news release.

The “community’s first-ever outdoor Chinese Lantern Festival” also will include immerse guests in cultural experiences such as live performances, handmade Chinese crafts and Asian food, the zoo said.

The zoo is partnering with Tianyu Arts & Culture, an international event design company that has produced lantern events in 38 cities for more than 258 million visitors. Tianyu already has hosted events in U.S. cities such as Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago.

Zoo officials said that artisans from Zigong, a city in southwestern China, where lantern festivals originated about 1,400 years ago, will begin crafting displays in Louisville in February.

The event will launch March 5 and run through April 25. Tickets will go on Sale Dec. 1.

Louisville Zoo members can buy tickets in advance online for $15.50 per person and $18.50 at the zoo’s admission windows. Non-members can buy tickets in advance online for $18.50 and at the zoo's admission windows for $20.50.

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