The Minneapolis Downtown Council announced this week that it will host the Mpls Lantern Fest on Feb. 21 in partnership with Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre.
The inaugural event will take place at Cancer Survivors Park in downtown Minneapolis. A series of workshops throughout the city allow participants to create their own paper lanterns with assistance from Heart of the Beast artists. Participants can then pick up their lanterns on the day of the festival and take part in an illuminated movement.
“We’re excited to introduce the Mpls Lantern Fest and start a new tradition here in Downtown Minneapolis,” said Leah Wong, Minneapolis Downtown Council’s vice president of events and marketing, in a statement. “Activities and events are a big part of creating a consistently compelling downtown experience, an initiative of our Downtown 2025 Plan. The Mpls Lantern Fest will be a great way to bring our downtown neighborhood and Minneapolis community together.”
The festival is free and open to the public. It will also include food, drink and live entertainment.
At the Mpls Lantern Fest, Heart of the Beast artists will lead participants and show their own giant lanterns inspired by constellations, including a bear, rabbit, loon, fox and cow. Lantern festivals have been a part of Chinese culture as early as 200 B.C. and have spread all over the world.
“At In the Heart of the Beast, our mission is to bring people together for the common good through the power of puppet and mask performances,” said Catherine Jordan, interim executive director of Heart of the Beast. “Mpls Lantern Fest not only brings people together, but it allows us to embrace the heart of winter while ushering in the warmth and illumination of spring. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to shine light on our great downtown.”
Mpls Lantern Fest
Where: Cancer Survivors Park, Marquette Plaza, 250 Marquette Ave.
When: Feb. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Lyn-Lake: Saturday, Feb. 7 (1 to 3 p.m.), Saturday, Feb. 14 (10 a.m. to noon). Hosted by Intermedia Arts Gallery at 2822 Lyndale Avenue S.
North: Tuesday, Feb. 12 (5 to 8 p.m.). Hosted by Juxtaposition Arts at 1108 Broadway Avenue W.
Northeast: Saturday, Feb. 14 (2 to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Feb. 15 (noon to 3 p.m.). Hosted by ArtShare at Grace Center, 1500 Sixth Street NE.
Powderhorn: Tuesday, Feb. 17, Thursday, Feb. 19 and Friday, Feb.20 (6 to 9 p.m.). Hosted by In the Heart of the Beast, 1500 Lake Street E.
Uptown: Wednesday, Feb. 18 (6 to 8 p.m.). Hosted by First Universalist Church’s Chalice Room at 3400 Dupont Avenue S.
Additional workshops will be announced. All supplies will be provided at the workshops.