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Global Winter Wonderland Dazzles Sacramento Holiday Enthusiasts

winter wonderland

Why leave town for the holidays when you can celebrate around the world at Sacramento’s first Global Winter Wonderland?

Chosen as the only city in the country to host this annual light festival and multicultural theme park, Sacramento’s wonderland invites guests to travel the world in one night by experiencing over 70 massive light displays depicting ornate holiday exhibitions and iconic global landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal and Golden Gate Bridge.

“We explored many cities around the country and chose Sacramento because of all the culture, beauty and convenience the region has to offer,” said Lulu Huang, event founder.

Continuing now through Jan. 4 at Cal Expo, festival goers can also enjoy a few of the world’s finest dishes at the festival’s international food court or shop around at the fair’s holiday gift market.

In addition to traveling the world’s markets, food, and landmarks, guests with children can explore lands in the festival’s illuminated family-friendly exhibitions, which include a fantasy forest, a dinosaur maze and a festive holiday village.

“Global Winter Wonderland offers visitors a unique holiday experience that is sure to make lasting family memories much like the California State Fair,” said Rick Pickering, Chief Executive Officer at Cal Expo.

Conscious of the environment, the festival’s light displays are completely eco-friendly and illuminated entirely with millions of LEDs. A large dragon constructed entirely out of recycled CDs also made its first appearance at this year’s festival.

Performances from international acrobats as well as holiday carnival rides can also be enjoyed at this one-of-a-kind winter festival. Acrobatic performances can be enjoyed four times each night at two separate stages.

Based on a Chinese tradition that dates back over 2000 years, Global Winter Wonderland is the world’s largest lantern festival outside of China. Having been staged previously in Santa Clara and Atlanta, Sacramento’s festival is the fourth year that Global Winter Wonderland has taken place. The festival, which has drawn over a million guests during the past three years, expects to draw over 300,000 guests and hopes to return to Sacramento for another round next year.

Global Winter Wonderland currently opens weekends until Dec. 14 and will begin opening daily on Dec. 19 until Jan 4.

Tickets can be purchased for $16 adults, $12 children and seniors, with specials via the website for pricier options that include unlimited rides. Children under the age of 3 are offered free admission. Discount tickets are available at Walgreens and through SMUD, while supplies last. Deals are also seen on-and-off through Groupon and Living Social. Season passes are available for $42 adults, $34 children and seniors.

For more information visit globalwonderland.com.

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Photos courtesy of International Culture Exchange Group

About the author

Jason Pham

Jason is a third-year undergraduate student studying English and communication at UC Davis. He began interning at Sacramento Press in October 2014 and has enjoyed covering stories that highlight Sacramento's unique culture. He is originally from the Bay Area and enjoys television marathons, sushi, and blogging about pop culture.

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