Last year, I attended The Lantern Fest at the Philadelphia location. They host the event in various locations across the USA. The gates open at 4 PM, but you really don’t need to get there so early since the lighting can’t start until the sun is down. Although if you’re a large group (6+), getting there by around 7 PM is your best bet to still have enough space for the group and the lighting at night.
The Philadelphia location was pretty spacious. It was open land with little grass. People brought blankets and beach chairs to have a good day’s picnic and fun. There was a stage and people were performing. I don’t really remember what was going on but people were very into it. Some guy also wore a Pikachu onesie and danced on stage. I don’t know how he was surviving the heat. There were other tents for children’s activities, like coloring and face paint. There was a super long line for the balloon animals. So long that the guys making them were just twisting up balloon swords instead of taking requests. (Their insurance was ending at 5 PM, which means they had to stop working). I got myself a sword though 🙂
There was a booth right in front of our spot that was a sponsor: Bai Water. I never had it before and tried their coconut and watermelon flavors. I’m glad they had a water sponsor because sitting out in the heat is NO JOKE. Bring umbrellas! I brought my beach chairs and should’ve packed a blanket (and a picnic basket and more food).
There is an area where food can be purchased. They serve only fast food like chicken sandwich, chicken fingers, burgers, fries, and soda. It was about $7 for a sandwich that reminded me of elementary school lunch–wrapped up in an aluminum foil and probably mass baked to heat everything up.
The admission ticket came with an entire Hershey’s chocolate bar 🍫, 4 marshmallows, a pack of graham crackers (about 10?), and 2 mini Sharpies to decorate your lantern. It’s best to share with your friends since there are different colors 😛.
Finally, it was time for the fire 🔥 activity! I was wondering what the sticks in the ground were all night. The fire lighting is pretty dangerous if you don’t do it right. My first lantern did not have enough hot air in it and I let it go. I had to chase after it… Thank goodness they have the Police and Firefighter team at the event in case of any accidents.
And after you set your lanterns into the sky with your wishes, you can enjoy some s’mores 🍢 (close enough emoji, lol).
See ya there this year? 🙂