June 11-12, 2016
You know when you are so excited for something and you have the highest expectations and you want it to be everything you ever dreamed it would be, but at the same time now you’re scared that your expectations are too high and maybe you shouldn’t be so excited because you don’t want to ruin it for yourself, but you can’t because hello! This is so exciting and you have wanted to do this forever and now you’re basically willing it to be perfect?! Yeah, that’s how I felt for several weeks leading up to the Lantern Festival in Fernley, NV.
Going to a Lantern Festival has been on my bucket list since Tangled came out many years ago (as it was on everybody’s I’m sure), and after doing some spontaneous research earlier this year, I discovered that Sack Lunch Productions organizes The Lantern Fest several times in the year throughout the United States. And to my absolute delight, they held one close to Reno, NV! A mere two and a half hours to experience the most magical event in the world? Yes please, sign me up! And that I did, I purchased my ticket four months in advance (I was seriously committed) and enlisted some of my friends to join me: Oxie (my usual partner in crime), Vlad (the chillest guy you will ever meet), and Leo (my super cute boyfriend).
June 11th came much faster than expected and soon we were on our way to a little past Reno to the Fernley Race Track where we would be launching our lanterns with hundreds of other people.
After checking in, we went over to the welcome tables/booths and picked up our goodies. With the purchase of the ticket you get entry to the event, a lantern to light up, a lighter, markers for decorating/writing on your lantern, a bag of marshmallows, graham crackers, a stick to roast your marshmallows on, and later in the evening they passed out chocolates to complete the smore’s.
Once we were on the race track area, we scouted the place for an available fire pit and found a group of girls who were willing to share with us.
After we finally settled in, we got right into decorating our lanterns.
I told you he was cute! *Swoon*
After decorating our lanterns, it was the waiting game. There was live entertainment with jugglers, small performances, and competitions. One of which Vlad actually won by posting this photo to his Instagram.
You were supposed to post a kissing photo with your “bae” and obviously this takes the cake! He got a free t-shirt for it!
Finally the sun started to set and they went around and lit everyone’s fire pits so we could make s’mores! Around this time they also had a live musician play which created an awesome atmosphere.
After what seemed like forever, it was FINALLY time to light and launch our lanterns! I don’t think I can accurately describe the emotions I had in the next fifteen to twenty minutes or so. In the best way I can sum it up, I was jumping with excitement, staring in awe, screaming with glee, crying from emotional overload, and just so so so happy.
Honestly, after letting our lanterns go, and just watching them drift into the night, I’m pretty sure the world stopped moving for a few minutes.
And then just like that, the magical trance we were in was over and I was craving for more. So we did the only logical thing we knew how to do, we bought tickets for the next day!
The following day we came back with Oxie’s niece and nephew. Unfortunately it was windier than the previous day and lighting the lanterns was a lot more difficult. During all the chaos I even managed burn my hair by standing too close to a torch while trying to get a photo of everyone launching their lanterns. Oops, typical Ollie.
Even though the first day was better, I still enjoyed going the second time. So much so, that we are going again this weekend, September 24th (stay tuned for that blog post)! Yep, we bought tickets again for the same event and honestly, you should too. This will easily become my favorite tradition, and I’m basically planning on coming back every year (if not twice a year!).
Thank you Sack Lunch Productions for planning the Lantern Festival and making so many dreams come true!
xoxo Ollie! ❤
ps. checkout Oxie’s blog post about this weekend and for 20% off your tickets!