DALLAS, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- A dazzling collection of Chinese lanterns is on display now at the ongoing 126th annual State Fair of Texas here, drawing thousands of visitors from across the U.S. state.
It is the first time for the Chinese Lantern Festival to be in partnership with the state fair, and the festival itself has so far been a great success.
The lantern festival, which opened on Sept. 28 at Fair Park, is jointly organized by VYA Creative Lantern Co. Ltd., a company from China's Sichuan province, and the State Fair of Texas, which is now headed by Errol Mckoy.
VYA President Huang Dechun told Xinhua on Thursday night that a total of 80 skilled workers were involved in designing and building the 56 sets of lanterns.
"It took the workers three months to design and build the lanterns, but all of them are glad that they can do something that is conducive to the mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of China and the U.S.," Huang said.
At the festival, tradition, art and magic all come together. During daytime, the festival is an outstanding visual delight -- a collection of authentic Chinese art featuring pandas, flamingos and even a 110-yard-long dragon made from 15,000 porcelain dishes tied together by hand.
At night, the festival is a dreamscape of illuminated art portraying animals, buildings and stories and setting the Fair Park night sky aglow.
Both day and night visitors can experience a Chinese marketplace featuring handcraft, souvenirs and a food court, as well as live shows on the stage.
The Temple of Heaven, animated creatures, lotuses and the Statue of Liberty are among the 56 lantern sets in and around the Nature and Science Buildings and lagoon.
The three lotus lanterns, made of silk-like fabric, are so big that for the first time a helicopter was used to place them into the park lagoon.
The Chinese Lantern Festival, which runs through Oct. 21, has since been a shining part of the fair.
Xu Erwen, Chinese Consul General in Houston, on Thursday night invited hundreds of celebrities to watch the lanterns.
"Lantern festival not only brings you Chinese traditions and culture, but also brings the friendship and best wishes of the Chinese people to the American people, to the people in Dallas," Xu said.
Michael S. Rawlings, mayor of Dallas, spoke highly of the lantern festival.
"On behalf of the city of Dallas, my colleagues and the city council, I am honored to be here tonight to celebrate this incredible exhibit from China," he said.
"I can honestly say that the inclusion of the lantern exhibit is unprecedented in the history of the state fair. And we hope to see many many more collaborations like this coming forth," he added.
The lantern festival is also welcomed by visitors.
"It's beautiful. It's gorgeous. It's very pretty. I cannot even imagine the amount of time it took to put all that together," said Tamra Dennis, a middle-aged woman.
"We come every year and the Chinese Lantern Festival is the most awesome this year that we have never seen anything like this. It's beautiful," she added.
Justin Newman, 66, said that "This is the most magnificent thing that I have ever seen here on this group of land."
"Nothing like this has ever been done before. It's amazing to me," he said.