Interview Student Winner Philly Chinese Lantern Festival Design Contest

By 8/14/2023 02:02:00 PM ,

Each year The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival has a "Student Design Contest" presented by Temple University, which gives local students the opportunity to design a lantern for the Festival.

Interview Student Winner Philly Lantern Festival Design Contest

photo credit: Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc. and Tianyu

Note: I was invited as media to preview the exhibit. However, any views expressed are always 100% my own.

This year the students were invited to submit a drawing of a rabbit to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. Then the winning drawings was crafted into lanterns and displayed during the Festival.

Philly Lantern Festival Student Design Contest Winners

While at the festival this year, I saw the student's rabbit lanterns and were so impressed with their creativity and rabbit designs.

To learn more about the contest and how it feels to have your drawings made into an lantern for all to see, I interviewed the 2023 winner Sadie Olszewski.

Sadie Olszewski Winner Philly Lantern Festival Design Contest

Motivation to Enter Contest

Sadie Olszewski: My mom's friend daughter entered one year. So my mom wanted me to enter this year. I also wanted to do it, because it looked really cool.

Coming up with Rabbit Design

Sadie Olszewski: I wanted to do a rabbit that was different, so I made it colorful. I wanted it to be colorful, so it can show that I'm creative.

Advice for Students

Sadie Olszewski: When making a design, make it different because if it's just a regular design that people expect to see in the competition, it won't standout.

Just be creative. Make it yours so that it shows "you" through it. So if you win, you get a sense of "you" not just a sense of "art" that you did.

Seeing Her Winning Design as a Lantern

Sadie Olszewski: I felt it was really cool because, I didn't know it was going to be that big. And everyone was taking pictures, it was really cool.

After my interview with Sadie, I briefly spoke with her mom Alison Kurowski, who shared her thoughts about the contest and her daughter being the 2023 winner.

Alison Kurowski: We were absolutely thrilled that she won. It felt so special being in Philadelphia and having the opportunity to participate in this way. As a younger person, in something that is culturally relevant, as well as Philadelphia relevant.

Alison Kurowski: You don't see competitions for younger people all that often, especially one where the recognition is so public. We're always proud of Sadie, we think she's an amazing artist. And to have her lantern sitting in a park in Philadelphia is just such an honor.

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is currently in Franklin Square, June 21 – August 13, 2023, with magnificent steel-framed and silk-wrapped giant lighted artistic sculptures.

In addition to the light installations, visitors can enjoy live cultural stage performances, see the choreographed fountain light show, taste Asian cuisine and American comfort food, drink a toast at the Dragon Beer Garden, and shop for Chinese folk artists’ crafts created on site as well as Festival-themed merchandise.

The Festival will illuminate Franklin Square at 6th & Race Streets in Historic Philadelphia. Guests can also play Philly Mini Golf, ride the Parx Liberty Carousel, and more.

Tickets Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

Friday and Saturday tickets (timed tickets required):

· $25 for adults
· $14 for children (ages 3-12, 2 and under are free)
· $23 for youth (13-17), senior (65+), and active military (with I.D.)

Sunday tickets:

· $22 for adults
· $14 for children (ages 3-12, 2 and under are free)
· $20 for youth (13-17), senior (65+), and active military (with I.D.)

Combination tickets including Franklin Square attractions are available.

A portion of the proceeds from the Festival benefits Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the non-profit that operates and manages Franklin Square, for the programming and care of this important public space and its many year-round free events.

Learn more, visit -

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