LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of colorful lanterns are lighting up the Louisville Zoo for the new Wild Lights: Asian Lantern Festival.

The zoo gave WDRB a sneak peek of the event that kicks off Thursday night.

"If social media is any indication, people are very, very excited," said zoo spokeswoman Kyle Shepherd.

With 2,000 bright lanterns, 65 colorful displays, and 50,000 LED lights, guests can walk along the 1.4-mile path to take in the sights.

Artists from China, where lantern festivals originated, created the displays using traditional techniques.

"This art form is thousands of years old, and to watch these artisans put these sculptures together and put fabric over (them) and really put a lot of detailed work into them, it's beautiful," said Shepherd.

Guests can walk through an illuminated shark tunnel as it changes colors, snap a selfie with massive wings, and step alongside a massive Chinese dragon.

The lantern festival is a first in Louisville and one of the biggest in the country.

Embracing Asian culture, visitors can also buy handmade crafts, try Asian food and drinks, and watch Chinese performances, including acrobats.

Single tickets are $18.50, or $60 dollars for a family of four. Members get discounts. The festival runs until April 25.

The zoo suggests guests buy tickets online to secure a spot in case it's a sellout.

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