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Saul Barbis

Christmas Holiday Light Display in Texas

Making the Magic: Festival of Lights

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Part One: The Lanterns

Holiday Magic: Festival of Lights is the brainchild of Event Show Management CEO, Steve Pichichero, founder of ESM. Mr. Pichichero wanted to bring a historical new twist to the traditional Christmas festival by creating an “East Meets West” theme…combining the rich history of Asian traditions with American holiday celebrations. This means that the Festival of Lights management team had to go East to find their attractions!

Illuminated Christmas Display

This large illuminated display (lantern) can be seen at the Holiday Magic: Festival of Lights at Retama Park in Selma, TX.


The large illuminated displays (lanterns) are hand crafted by artisans across Asia. Made using the same techniques spanning hundreds of years, these lanterns are authentically Asian and display the incredible craftsmanship of culture and advancements in technology. These modern lanterns start as simple etchings and designs, then steel is cut and welded to form the basic frame of each piece in a scene. 
Artist Making Christmas Lanterns

Artist preparing steel for the frames of our large illuminated Christmas displays.

Once the frame is complete several layers of paper and fabric are added to create the shapes. Once the frame is fitted with its “skin”, artists arrive to paint the fabric using specialty dyes that allow light to pass through the fabric. This creates a beautiful mosaic of colors and shapes that illuminate the night sky. The lantern scenes vary in size and some pieces can reach 30 feet tall! 
You can see these amazing illuminations at Holiday Magic: Festival of Lights at Retama Park in Selma, TX this December. Click here for more information. 
Holiday Magic: Festival of Lights in San Antonio, Texas

Festival of Lights: History of the Lanterns

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Throughout history the people of Asia have celebrated the New Year in a variety of traditions, celebrations, and festivals. One of the oldest traditions is the creation and illumination of paper lanterns. The traditional red lantern were made of silk or paper and was meant to be a sign for joy, vitality, happiness, and love. As time passed the red lantern quickly became a symbol of celebration throughout Asian culture. Holiday Magic Festival of Lights brings this tradition to Selma, Texas this Christmas.

Christmas Lanterns in San Antonio Texas

Traditional Asian lanterns on display as part of the the Festival of Lights, an “East Meets West” Christmas festival in San Antonio Texas.

Traditional lanterns can be made using a variety of colors, materials, and methods. The most popular is the colors red, green, and yellow while taking the shapes of lotus flowers, dragons, butterflies, fans, and boxes. Families can make lanterns using paper and balsa wood, a little glue, some string, and a small candle. Click here to learn how to make your own paper lanterns.

This December you can experience the modern-day tradition of the classic lanterns in the form of giant illuminated displays and scenes sure to delight and amaze. At the Festival of Lights you’ll see lantern dragons that are 30-feet tall…illuminated scenes highlighting important points in Asian and American history and culture. The displays at Holiday Magic Festival of Lights are authentically crafted in Asia using the same traditional techniques and practices used to make the real displays found throughout China and all of Asia. These are the real things! We painstakingly chose artisans and craftsman throughout Asia to make our displays and took special care to protect the rich heritage involved in the manufacturing process.

Christmas Festival in San Antonio Texas

Traditional dragon lantern featured at the Festival of Lights at Retama Park in San Antonio, Texas.

You can experience the modern display of this rich tradition at Holiday Magic: Festival of Lights in Selma, TX. December 1st – January 8th at Retama Park.


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2018 Event Location and Dates to be Determined

Spectacular Carnival Included with Admission

Enjoy an amazing carnival as part of the Festival of Lights experience, and the rides are included with your admission to the festival. That makes this ticket a tremendous value. You can also play games and enjoy the best carnival food around for additional fees. There are rides for kids, spectacular thrill rides, and of course, a ferris wheel and carousel. Look through the following photos, but note these are a sampling of what you might find at this year’s Festival of Lights.

Christmas Holiday Rides in San Antonio, Texas

Holiday Magic: Festival of Lights will feature a large Christmas carnival full of rides, games, and good food.