| December 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Global Winter Wonderland Wows!

An extravagant Christmas tree is surrounded by a variety of colorful images.

Global Winter Wonderland (GWW), the extravaganza now underway at SDCCU Stadium is – to say the least – impressive. The welcome mastermind behind this first event for San Diego is Lulu Huang, a sunny, bustling beauty, a native of China. Now an American citizen, in America since her 22nd year, she has surely mastered the challenges, and embraced the opportunities that have resulted in this joyous addition to our city’s holiday happenings. We talked:

LW: Could there be a more colorful, engaging, enjoyable event than GWW? Of course, San Diego is winter “light, “ so how did you choose us for this seemingly cold-weather circus?

LH: We were more looking for a “WOW” destination in Southern California – – now, San Diego surely qualifies for that!

LW: You’ve established, you say, a “city in a parking lot.” It’s taken hundreds of staffers to design, build and produce this event! What’s that undertaking been like for you? (i.e. time in, costs, etc. , anything unusual? City rules/policies?)

LH: There have been some adjustments to make to our planning, but having a big open parking lot is like having a blank canvas that you can turn into anything you want!

LW: What inspired you to embark on this business? Not that your degree in finance wouldn’t help any business.

LH: I grew up going to traditional lantern festivals in China as a child. When I moved to the United States, I started my own business, however, after I had my kids, I realized there was more to life than just business. I was able to see the world through my kids’ eyes and the world seemed like such a beautiful, happy and innocent place. It reminded me of the amazing lantern festivals in China and I wanted to bring that to the United States to share with people of all cultures here. There are so many different cultures represented here and I wanted to create a place where everyone could come together during the holiday and celebrate all cultures.

LW: Hasn’t it taken an immense amount of creativity / imagination to change your themes every year?

LH: My children are an endless source of imagination. I am influenced by what they are interested in and bring those ideas to my team who helps me brainstorm the new lantern designs for the upcoming season.

LW: For our showcase, you’ve chosen an amazing exhibition of Chinese lanterns – surely a new experience for we Yankees. I would guarantee that we are “wowed” by the artistry and imagination in this display. Tell us about the lanterns, their creators. What happens to them after the event closes?

LH: The lanterns are truly art pieces – elaborate designs on paper are turned into detailed structures made of steel, covered in silk and illuminated from within. Our in-house creative team starts early in the year with the designs and then over 60 artisans from China come to the United States to craft the lanterns onsite for the event.

LW: You’ve made it clear: GWW is a circus, an art exhibition, a carnival – hardly only for kids! You call it a “living experience.” An opportunity for attendees – especially children – to “grow their imaginations.” Unique, you think?

LH: Yes! Global Winter Wonderland is a holiday experience for the whole family. In addition to our dazzling displays, we have food, carnival rides and entertainment for all ages. There is nothing like it.

LW: There’s definitely an international feel, presentation throughout the event. How many countries are represented in the attractions?

LH: We have displays representing countries from every corner of the globe – including, Egypt, Vietnam, India, Costa Rica and France – just to name a few.

LW: Have we – San Diegans – been good hosts?

LH: Absolutely! We are loving the weather and the graciousness of everyone we have worked with.

LW: San Diego is your fourth event – the others have been in Sacramento. Are you headed for other locations, cities?

LH: We have produced Global Winter Wonderland in five different cities over seven years including Atlanta, GA and Santa Clara, CA. We are continuing to grow and hope to expand year after year – but are looking forward to creating a holiday tradition for San Diego families.

Global Winter Wonderland will be held through January 7, 2018 at SDCCU Stadium, located in Mission Valley, and is produced by the International Cultural Exchange Group.
Tickets can be purchased on line: $22/adults, children/4-12 and seniors, 62-plus/ $19. Discounted tickets are available at Walgreen’s: $18/adults, children/$15.

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