A unique and inspirational festival is once again returning to Grand Rapids. The Water Lantern Festival is a celebration of community and light that takes place in different cities all over the country.

Water Lantern Festival

The Water Lantern Festival is all about community, reflection, love, and joy. Attendees create their own lanterns with messages of hope, personal goals, letters to loved ones they miss, or whatever they want! The lanterns are lit and sent off into the water. Organizers say the event "provides a unique space for emotional healing and rejuvenation."

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water lantern festival
Water Lantern Festival, Facebook

If, like me, you're wondering what happens to the lanterns, Water Lantern Festival staff removes the lanterns from the water after the event as well as cleans up any trash or debris that may have previously been in or around the water. The lanterns are made from rice paper and wood, so organizers say they are as eco-friendly as possible. Plus, they reuse and recycle the LED candles.

The Water Lantern Festival voted the No. 1 Cultural Festival in USA Today 10best polls in 2019 and 2020.

The Water Lantern Festival Returns to Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2024

It appears the last time the festival was in Grand Rapids was 2018. Well, it's back in 2024! The Water Lantern Festival is at Millennium Park on Maynard Ave. SW. August 3. Gates open at 6p.m., with the lantern launch at 9p.m. Gates close at 10p.m.

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In addition to designing and releasing your lantern, the event also includes live music and food trucks.

Tickets are $40.99, until they go up in price July 26.

What's included in your ticket:

  • Wristband for entry into the festival area with access to food trucks
  • Floating lantern kit
  • LED candle
  • Commemorative drawstring bag
  • Conversation cards
  • Playing cards
  • Marker
  • Lantern retrieval and water clean up

Get your tickets here.

New West Michigan Restaurants 2024

More than 15 new restaurants, including authentic Mexican eateries, brunch joints, African-fusion restaurants, juice bars, Italian spots and more have opened so far in West Michigan in 2024.

How many have you been to?

As more restaurants open up, we'll add them to the list! So be sure to check back.

Gallery Credit: Janna

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