I’ve always wanted to light lanterns and set them free after seeing the movie Tangled, but never really thought about it too much except it being a cute idea at weddings. Lighting lanterns and letting them float into the night sky originated from the Chinese, they’re often seen during the fifteenth night of the first lunar month in China and this tradition soon spread to the States. People started writing their hopes, wishes, and dreams or even a letter to a loved one who passed away, on the lanterns. This is kind of how lantern fest became to be in 2014. Lantern Fest is an opportunity for thousands of people to gather at the same place as a community for an incredible experience of lighting up the night sky. This was my first experience at Lantern Fest and I hope it won’t be my last. The night was full of live music, yummy smores, and great people.

After seeing Tangled (and if you haven’t seen the movie STOP what you’re doing and watch it), my expectations were pretty high, but the night definitely lived up to the movie, maybe even exceeded it.

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S’mores are a key element of Lantern Fest.
There were 8,000 people there!


Mary & I.
My lantern design.


Watching the lanterns float across the night sky was absolutely breathtaking. I can’t even explain the feeling it gives you watching 8,000 lanterns go up knowing each one holds someone’s wishes, hopes, and dreams. It’s something I hope everyone gets to experience at least once in their lives.

Photography courtesy of Mary Meier