by Kat Robinson
LANTERNS! takes visitors for a mystical stroll along paved pathways lit by fire pits and luminaries into Wildwood’s
winter woodlands. New this year, choose from two festival gates to access eight cultural vistas: Shakespearean
England, Venice, Asia, India, Russia, old Americana’s Wild West, Mexico and Germany.
A magical evening designed to delight children and adults alike, LANTERNS! celebrates the first full moon of the
lunar year with a variety of indoor and outdoor entertainment including performances by Wildwood Park’s
statewide educational touring production, Art to Go!, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre and musicians from the
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, along with a host of other musical acts and entertainment.
Visitors step back in time with a trip to Shakespearean England with entertainment provided by The Arkansas
Shakespeare Theatre, and then on to Venice in Wildwood Park’s iconic gazebo. Launch a luminary on the lake and
make a wish. Pause in Asia where friends and neighbors will find traditional crafts, live demonstrations from
Arkansas’ Taekwondo Association and activities for the kids. Travel to Russia inside Wildwood’s Lucy Lockett Cabe
Festival Theatre for soul warming performances from Tatiana Roitman, piano; and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s
David Renfro, French horn; Beth Wheeler, oboe; and on Saturday evening, an ASO string Quartet including Geoff
Robson, violin; Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin; Ryan Mooney, violin; and David Gerstein, cello.
Drop in at old Americana’s Wild West saloon or cuddle up beside one of the lakeside fire pits and toast your own
campfire s’mores and listen to Paul Morphis’ one man band. Continue your multicultural journey in Mexico with
live mariachi or in Germany with a selection of international beers and polka music. Each vista includes activities or
entertainments, horses in cultural regalia, and food for purchase specific to each vista’s region and culture.
Chairs and advisors include Warren and Nancy Boop, Tom and Dolores Bruce, Larry Burton, Julian Calzada, Guy
Couch, Angie Gilbert, Anna Harper, Vivian Norman, Bill and Cathy Spivy, the members of the Unified Artist
Movement and Jim and Lorene Patterson.
Sponsors and underwriters for LANTERNS! Festival include Sync Weekly, Little Rock Family, ¡Hola! Arkansas, the
Mexican Consulate and Today’s THV. LANTERNS! is also made possible by Bylites, J.A. Riggs, Aristotle, the Pulaski
County Master Gardeners, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Deltic Timber, Thoma Thoma, the Arkansas Arts
Council (an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage), and the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and free to children 5 and under. Gates open at 6 pm and close
at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. Festival hours are from 6 pm to 9 pm on Sunday. Each gate admission includes
the cost of entertainment. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
Group discounts of $2 off are available for parties of 10 or more with advance purchase. Purchase tickets online
prior to LANTERNS! and receive a discount of $5 off for a family pass of two adults and two children, or share your
email address at the gate and receive $1 back in festival cash. Wildbucks, the Park’s festival currency, are utilized
for all concessions. Wildbucks not utilized at LANTERNS! may be utilized at upcoming festivals.
To purchase tickets in advance or to inquire about more festival information visit www.wildwoodpark.org or call 501-821-7275.