Thursday, November 21, 2013
ATLANTA — This winter, you don’t need to leave Atlanta to see the world.
Global Winter Wonderland, a lantern festival and multicultural theme park, made its Atlanta debut Thursday and runs through Jan. 5 at Turner Field.
“I wanted to created a new Atlanta tradition. I want (the public) to see something new each year,” said John Lin, CEO of the IGO Group, which organizes the attraction.
Until the new year, attendees can travel the world in one visit looking at the larger-than-life lantern designs of landmarks from countries all over the globe, including the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, Chichen Itza and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Wonderland is different from the other light shows in and around metro Atlanta. Instead of stringing up lights for a flat experience, the tiny twinklers are wrapped around four-dimensional structures. Some of the buildings are made of plates and recycled bottles.
The eco-friendly lanterns are illuminated with low power LEDs and fluorescent lights, and several structures are powered by solar panels. Many of the structures tower more than 50 feet high and span nearly 100 feet wide.
Lin chose Turner Field because it can accommodate the massive amount of lights, lanterns and people.
“Turner Field used to be 1996 Olympic place, so that’s why I chose there,” he said. “It’s central in Atlanta and the Braves have been helping out. I wanted to do something as big as the Olympics to bring the culture and international feel here.”
The family event of the holiday season also features other attractions, like carnival rides and games, international cuisine, arts and crafts, and live entertainment.
But when the attraction ends, everything will be torn down and not used again.
“After the show, we will tear down and start fresh,” Lin said. “This year is to travel the world in one day. Every year I change the theme. Next year may be imagination. We want people to see something new each year.”