PHOTO/FRANK X. MULLEN: Visitors enter the mouth of a megladon (giant shark) at a preview of Dragon Lights on June 30.

Dinosaurs, sea creatures, dragons and other larger-than-life glowing beasts and plants will occupy the May Arboretum & Botanical Gardens through Aug. 12.

The fantastical menagerie, made of fabric, steel and thousands of LED lights, are the latest installment of Dragon Lights, which returned to the arboretum at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno after a three-year hiatus.

Slideshow of Dragon Lights

If You Go: The exhibition of 42 larger-than-life lanterns and walk-through fabric and steel sculptures lit by thousands of LEDs is at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Rancho San Rafael Park, open daily from 6 to 10:30 p.m. from July 1 until Aug. 12. Advance tickets are required. All tickets are date and time specific. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets early online. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

The new light installations include “magically themed areas built using traditional Chinese artisanship,” said Huiyuan Liu, event spokesperson. The theme is “Dive into the Ocean World,” featuring an undersea experience of giant sea life displays including a shark tunnel and prehistoric dinosaurs. Entertainment includes shows that spotlight Asian culture and the ancient traditions of China.

New at Dragon Lights Reno this year is an interactive playground with lantern displays that visitors can touch, play with, and sit on.  Inside the May Arboretum, the Lantern Food Court offers a selection of food and drinks from both local and traveling food vendors. 

VIDEO: SUSAN SKORUPA: A couple and a baby get up close to a T-rex dinosaur at Dragon Lights on June 30.

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