LuminoCity Festival returns to Nassau County


In a festive opening ceremony last week fit for the holiday season, Nassau County officially welcomed the LuminoCity Festival back to Eisenhower Park for its second year in the heart of East Meadow.

The LuminoCity Festival was conceived by its founder, Xiaoyi Chen as a Chinese lantern walk-through exhibit with a variety of different lantern displays set up along the pathways between Fields 2 and 4 in the park.

At an opening preview day Nov. 13, County Executive Bruce Blakeman, joined by partners in government, encouraged Nassau County residents to come out and see the display, which will be open through Jan. 7.

To kickoff the preview event, 2,500 county employees and their families were invited to walk through the attraction.

“This is a very beautiful and exciting exhibition and it’s going to be a lot of fun throughout the winter season,” Blakeman said. “As we approach Hanukkah and Christmas, this will be a place where families can go and spend an evening and have some fun.”

At LuminoCity, there’s everything from Christmas displays to an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed tunnel, among many other creations.

LuminoCity partnered this year with the Nassau County Park’s Department and the Long Island Children’s Museum, located just minutes away from the park on Museum Row in Garden City. Children were invited to create and submit a design, under the prompt “My Imaginary Ocean Creatures.” Designs were then selected, and 2-D drawings were blown up into “larger-than-life” 3-D sculptures — all of which can be seen at Eisenhower Park.

Erika Floreska, president of the Long Island Children’s Museum, said the museum was thrilled to take part in the initiative.

“This weekend is a great example in this partnership of our mission to connect children and their caregivers to a life of wonder, imagination and exploration,” she said. “We prioritize opportunities for children to explore creative outlets in unique ways and that’s exactly what these students and others have done.”

During the spring, under the theme of “Underwater World,” Floreska said the museum hosted workshops with LuminoCity.

“We came together and did workshops at the children’s museum, teaching students about the lantern making tradition and giving them a chance to explore and think about an underwater sea creature that doesn’t exist, mashing it up and telling us a little bit about what that sea creature does,” she said.

The museum received over 100 entries, Floreska said, and 11 student artwork pieces were chosen. Around the park, there’s a description of each student-made design, so viewers can learn about their creativity.

“They’re fantastic artists and creators,” she said. “And in addition, at the children’s museum on Museum Row, we’re proud to have a display about the history of lantern making, the drawings by the artists, and some of the lanterns you can see inside and explore.”

Sadie Rose, 11, had her design selected. It’s called “The Sea Helk,” a mix between a horse, elk, and seahorse. “It just kind of came to mind when my art teacher helped me by saying that you have to be creative and be yourself with this piece,” she said.

LuminoCity’s first exhibit opened in 2019 at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. Since then, it’s moved around to several different locations, each year taking on a slightly different theme. This year, Eisenhower Park’s is titled “Wonder Journey,” and there’s two additional festivals taking place in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“We have come a long way since 2019,” Chen said. “It’s exciting to see our efforts paying off and the festival growing.”

Darcy Belyea, commissioner of the park’s department, said she’s excited to be part of great things happening all year round, not only in Eisenhower Park.

“We are grateful to our county executive, the park’s team, for working with LuminoCity and our museum partners to make this happen,” she said. “So please come out and enjoy.”

For more information on the attraction, and more about the festival visit