Lantern Fest to light up Meridian Speedway

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 19:25:49-05

The Lantern Fest is bringing its national tour to the Treasure Valley later this year.

The event is scheduled to be held at the Meridian Speedway in downtown Meridian on April 30th.

“Family and friends, young and old, will join together in a celebration of life, love and memories beneath a sky illuminated by floating lanterns,” according to Lantern Fest director Spencer Humiston.

“The Lantern Fest is a very unifying event,” he added. “Our problems and worries seem so individual, but they are shared by others in the community.”

Starting at 3 p.m., there will be live music, s’mores, face painters, a stage show and several additional events  leading up to the nighttime lantern launch. After sunset, participants will come together to release their lanterns, “painting the sky gold with their hopes and dreams,” Humiston said.

Portions of proceeds from each event are donated to the Angels of America’s Fallen, a non-profit organization that honors fallen military, police, and first-responders by providing funds and/or supplies for positive mentoring and developmental activities for the children of such heroes, according to a Lantern Fest news release.

“Right now, there are over 100 children on our waiting list -- children who are eagerly awaiting funds for a specific passion or developmental outlet,” said Founder and CEO of Angels of America’s Fallen, Joe Lewis. “This partnership with The Lantern Fest is a great way to honor our fallen, while raising funds that will help us move these kids off of our waiting list and into music, sports, or some other passion that involves a coach or mentor.”

Lantern Fest passes can be purchased online and are required for admission to the event. Each pass comes with a lantern, marker, a s’mores kit, and a lighter. Participants are encouraged to register before January 29 to take advantage of the current pricing.

Tickets are available at

Historically, Chinese lanterns were used to symbolize good fortune, request favorable weather, and celebrate the lives of loved ones. In 2014, The Lantern Fest transformed the ancient tradition into a family-friendly festival with food, music, s’mores and children’s entertainment.  

Lantern Fest holds similar events all over the country.