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‘Every piece is breathtaking:’ Chinese artisans put finishing touches on China Lights ‘Panda-Mania’ ๐Ÿผ

HALES CORNERS -- FOX6 News on Monday, Sept. 10 got a sneak peek at China Lights "Panda-Mania" -- which is set to be held at Boerner Botanical Gardens from Sept. 21 through Oct. 21.

The world-class Chinese lantern festival will be unveiled to the public in less than two weeks!

"Every piece that comes in is just breathtaking," said Shirley Walczak, Boerner Botanical Gardens director.

On Monday, we found 32 artisans still hard at work -- putting the finishing touches on the lanterns that will be featured in this year's show.

Huiyuan Liu

"We've got more than 1,000 small pieces of different lantern components, and all of them are handmade by our lantern artisans," said Huiyuan Liu with Tianyu Arts Culture Inc.

China Lights "Panda-Mania" will feature a giant panda -- crafted with thousands of ping-pong balls -- located outside the entrance to Boerner Botanical Gardens, free for all to see.

"It's all glued one-by-one, by hand, onto the frame," said Liu.

Inside the sprawling grounds, "Panda-Mania" extends into "Panda Alley."

"There are so many pandas out there, it is truly panda-mania out here," said Walczak.

While Mother Nature caused some hiccups with several weeks worth of rain, China Lights "Panda-Mania" is sure to be a showstopper.

"The show must go on, even though we had all that rain. It delayed it a little bit, but we're back on track. It's going to be absolutely spectacular this year!" said Walczak.

"The whole process is quite time-consuming, but the ultimate result is great," said Liu.

PHOTO GALLERY

China Lights "Panda-Mania" tickets are on sale now! CLICK HEREย for more information.

Festival hours will be 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The event will be closed Mondays. China Lights admission tickets will be valid any night through Oct. 21.