Good Times with Mickey & Minnie: Making the "Mouse-t" out of the 2008 Central Taiwan Lantern Festival
Text and photos by Taichung City Goverment
Pictures by National Taiwan University of
Physical Education and Sports
Translated by Ann Lee
If you want to enjoy an excellent, family-friendly lantern festival in Taichung, there is no better place to go than the 2008 Central Taiwan Lantern Festival at the WenXin Forest Park. This annual activity will be hosted by the world's most lovable mouse, Mickey, and five of his pals.
The city government-hosted lantern festival will run from February 14 to 24, at WenXin Forest Park, located on the corner of WenXin and XiangShang roads. The entire park will feature lanterns in the shape of Mickey and friends, perhaps making the event feel more like Disney World than a lantern festival! The eight-hectare celebration could leave some visitors overwhelmed, unsure of what to do or see next. To help you make your way through the festival in one piece, here are some tips and suggestions provided by the government.
The Main Lantern Show
What better place to get started than the main entrance? There, on the corner of WenXin and XiangShang roads, visitors will be greeted by an enormous Mickey and his beloved Minnie in lantern form. Daily of the festival, the government is giving away a limited number of miniature Mickey lanterns, which will be a good memento for the kids!
If you follow the lighted veranda from the entrance, the path will lead to the main stage, which will host the first mobile, double lantern show the festival has ever seen, as well as a fountain show, a fireworks display, and all kinds of live performances every night.
After the performances, head over to booths sponsored by the Pou Chen Group (or PCC). The company will display an array of interesting items that they've developed. The Windsor Hotel, a PCC member, will offer a variety of food and drink for festival-goers to munch on while they browse. Yoyo TV, a local TV station, will also put on all types of kid-friendly performances and display their products for children to see and enjoy. Right next to this large reception area will be the creative lantern show; this special show is a collection of colorful lanterns designed and created by students from schools throughout the city.
The Tasty Part: Food Vendors
Just past the creative lantern area, festival-goers will find the ever-popular food area--that is, if you can see the vendors from the crowds of people waiting to try specialties from all over the island! With more than 100 vendors, the cuisine and snack selection is diverse; you can find just about everything you're looking for. After pacifying your appetite, why not take a tour of the themed lantern area? It is a part of a festival that is sure to impress you.
The Family Fun Area
Kids all around the world love Mickey Mouse, whose spirit of fun and happiness makes everyone feel good. To make sure all of the kids (and kids at heart!) have a great time, the festival is hosting a "Family Fun" section on the grassy area on the south side. This area will be full of fun and games for the whole family.
Near the family fun area is another creative and cute lantern display. These well-crafted lights really showcase the creator's talent. Just south of this lantern display is a little corner in which some very energetic street performers will strut their stuff and surely keep the crowd entertained.
And a Little bit of Romance: The Lantern Tunnel
After an already stimulating evening, why not top it off with a final stroll through a downright charming area? Head down to the pedestrian path on WenXin Road, right between XiangShang Road and DaDun 7th Street--you'll walk right into a 200-meter-long lantern tunnel. As you stroll, you'll be enveloped by hundreds of lanterns of varying shapes and sizes. Their soft, colorful light against the dark, chilly evening is sure to create a twinkle in your eye.
Exciting programs at the 2008 Central Taiwan Lantern Festival:
- Main lantern & the laser light/fountain show: Time: 7-11 pm, the shows take place every half hour. - Fireworks: Feb. 15, 7:05 pm; Feb. 21, 10:55 pm; and Feb., 24, 10:55 pm.
- Street performers: Nightly mime, music, and clown shows.
All programs, dates, and time subject to change. For updates and more details go to the website at: www.lantern2008.com.tw.