Water Lantern Festival – Columbus, OH

by Erin

I was provided with complimentary tickets to this event but all thoughts and opinions remain my own.

As the sun began to set over the Scioto River, lanterns were launched onto the water carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection.

Water Lantern Festival Columbus Ohio #WaterLanternFestival #Sustainable #SpiffyColumbus

Last weekend the Water Lantern Festival was in Columbus, Ohio downtown right along the banks of the Scioto River, a location I frequent a lot during the summer as many great festivals are held there (one of my favorites it Food Truck Fest!). As luck would have it, summer decided to stick around for awhile longer and we couldn’t have asked for better weather to enjoy fare from the Aloha Aina food truck on a picnic blanket while assembling our water lanterns.

Water Lantern Festival Columbus Ohio #WaterLanternFestival #SciotoRiver #SpiffyColumbus

Water Lantern Festival is meant to be a reflective, emotional experience, writing down your hopes and dreams on your lantern to then send it out into the world. Unfortunately after a crazy busy day I blanked in the moment and went with the best thing I could think of, “B + E” inside of a heart. Then I added O-H and I-O on opposite sides to counter Bob’s own Penn State water lantern decoration. It’s football season and evidently our hopes and dreams are tied up in that at the moment haha. Despite our silliness, it was quite peaceful watching them float down the river.

Water Lantern Festival Columbus Ohio #SciotoRiver #ColumbusOhio #SpiffyColumbus

Speaking of setting loose water lanterns into a waterway, at first when I heard about this event I was appalled. Who do we think we are willingly polluting just for our own pleasure? But then I found out this event is about exactly the opposite. The organizers of the festival are committed to leaving each community cleaner than when they arrived, cleaning up all the lanterns following the event and any existing trash that may have previously been in or around the water. It’s their “no trace” policy!

Water Lantern Festival Columbus Ohio #WaterLanternFestival #WaterLantern #Scioto

The lanterns are also made from rice paper and wood so they are eco-friendly. But wait, it’s a plastic LED candle? I was upset upon seeing this but after inquiring about it learned that the LED candles are recycled and reused. The use of the LED candles actually makes it easier to collect every lantern as they will continue to glow instead of burning out. But won’t they fall out? The wood bases have a slot to keep the candle secure. I swear every time I thought I found a flaw they had a solution.

Have you been to a Water Lantern Festival before? You should check if they are coming to your town!

Water Lantern Festival Columbus Ohio #DowntownColumbus #ScitotoRiver #Columbus

Two years ago: Goat Cheese and Sage Pizza with Pumpkin Crust

Three years ago: Weekly Meal Plan #32

Five years ago: Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan

Six years ago: Tofu Lettuce Wraps With Cashew Sauce

Seven years ago: Mini Pumpkin Black and White Cookies


Susan October 3, 2019 - 9:53 am

What a neat festival! It reminds me of the luminarias that line the wall of Scenic Drive in El Paso for a couple of days before Christmas. Scenic Drive goes across the east face of the Franklin mountains and has an amazing view of both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. Our river wouldn’t work for your lantern festival, between the lack of water and the border fence…

spiffycookie October 3, 2019 - 2:36 pm

That sounds pretty too!


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