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Massive, beautiful lanterns to light up River Walk every night for 2 weeks

Ford Parade of Lanterns celebrates Chinese New Year tradition

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio River Walk will be lit up with 26-foot long floats topped with breathtaking lanterns in celebration of Chinese New Year.

Parading lanterns is a Chinese New Year tradition that dates back to 221-207 B.C. Lanterns topping this year’s floats include 7-foot cactus, mushrooms, butterflies, fish, a longhorn bull, panda bears, luminescent trees, a dragon and a flower, according to a press release.

San Antonio Riverwalk Lanterns on the Water
San Antonio Riverwalk Lanterns on the Water (Copyright 2018 © Joe Chidgey, all rights reserved.)

Weather permitting, this free event will run nightly from Jan. 25 through Feb. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m.

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Chinese New Year is Saturday and will celebrate the Year of the Rat, the first of all 12 zodiac animals. The rat is known to be “smart, talented, adaptable, hot-tempered, jealous, with a strong sense of self-awareness.”

The parade will start and end near the Westin Hotel. See the map below for the route:

Ford Parade of Lanterns 2020 route
Ford Parade of Lanterns 2020 route (San Antonio River Walk)

This is the third annual Parade of Lanterns event on the River Walk. This year’s ten floats will be grouped tighter and passing points along the river at designated times in an effort to make viewing easier, according to the release.

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High wind conditions could prevent floats from running. Check San Antonio River Walk’s Facebook page daily to see if the floats will run.

“These are not made of paper. It is a sturdy yet sheer fabric so light can shine through. They are reusable for many, many years. We keep them in storage when they are not in use and each year we add more lanterns to our inventory,” said Paula Schechter with the San Antonio River Walk Association.

Lanterns on floats
Lanterns on floats (San Antonio River Walk)

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