Illuminares Lantern Festival Returns

Posted on July 21, 2009


Illuminares Firedancers by Graham Ballantyne

Illuminares Firedancers by Graham Ballantyne

Ah, the complications of nonprofittery: last year, for reasons on which I’m unclear (but which many, MANY people on both sides are happy to discuss, at great length, the first chance and every chance they get) Public Dreams Society did not get the support of the City and whatever other agencies/organizations they were looking to therefor, and so they did not stage the famous Illuminares Festival in Trout Lake Park. A spontaneous event which I was strictly (and futilely) instructed not to call Illuminares took place instead, with a few hundred people partying and dancing around the lake with home-made lanterns and costumes. If a public festival falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Even if there’s no paperwork involved? But I digress…

In any case, the full, official Illuminares is back on this Saturday. Sadly, it’s the same day as Blogathon, so my choices are either to miss it or to attempt to vampire off some poor sod’s wifi and liveblog it. At this point I’m 50/50, but it WOULD be somewhat different, that’s for sure. Sadly, at 15 lbs, Eve the Laptop is not really what you’d call portable, being more a laptop for Mama Cass or Late Stage Elvis, but anything could happen at this point.

To prepare you can attend lantern-making workshops, buy a handcrafted lantern onsite, or rig something up at home. I think my all-time favorite is the life-sized wringer washer lantern, for no particular reason. Whatever you do, don’t bring anything electric unless it would impress them at Burning Man, or runs off cold fusion or something; wrong vibe.

From Facebook:

As dusk falls over Trout Lake at John Hendry Park in East Vancouver, families and friends come together from far and wide to witness an extraordinary celebration of light.

On this night, the Illuminares Lantern Procession fills the air with music, and thousands of paper lanterns come alive with fire. A brilliant spectacle of weaving serpents, birds in flight, planets in orbit, schools of fish, and all sorts of glowing and shimmering creatures of the imagination.

Processional bands playing world and folk music encourage spectators on the sidelines to join in the journey through the park. Along the way, audiences pass brightly illuminated displays and engaging circus performances of juggling, dancing, clowning, and so much more.

The Illuminares Lantern Procession includes an amazing show of art, music, dance, fire sculptures, and torch choreography. Come and enjoy!

Please donate to our event, every penny goes towards creating next year’s Illuminares. No money= no event … :-(

Another way to help is by volunteering, for more info contact us at

By the way, the Public Dreams Society is on Flickr and has many good pix of Illuminares, but they are All Rights Reserved, so I couldn’t use them on the blog. Click the images to go to the pages of the photographers who did share their work with the blogosphere.

I heart East Van lanterns at Illuminares by Random Dude

I heart East Van lanterns at Illuminares by Random Dude

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