A globally-celebrated water lantern festival comes to Madeira Beach this Saturday

A globally-celebrated water lantern festival comes to Madeira Beach this Saturday

Water lanterns floating on the water
Photo courtesy Water Lantern Festival

Light ‘em up, y’all. A gigantic water lantern festival is taking place on Madeira Beach this weekend. The Water Lantern Festival organization hosts the sunset events throughout the world, and their Tampa Bay Festival takes place at Madeira Beach’s R.O.C. Park on Saturday, August 6, from 5:30-9:30 pm.

In addition to the lighting of the lanterns on the water, there will be food trucks and music from start to finish, along with dedicated time for decorating individual lanterns. The lantern launch itself begins at sunset, around 8:30 pm, .


Guests must purchase tickets to receive a water lantern (available on-site), as all in attendance will take turn lighting their own and sending it into the water as the Gulf is lit up with lanterns carrying “hope, love, happiness and healing.” And don’t worry – the festival maintains the pristine beauty of our beaches with significant sustainability efforts, not only cleaning up the debris of the lanterns themselves from the water and beach afterward, but also cleaning up any other trash that may happen to be found.

Additionally, the lanterns are made from rice paper and wood so that they are as eco-friendly as possible, and ensures that they stay afloat for easy retreival. The festival is committed to its “leave no trace policy” and the price of the tickets helps pay for the cleanup.

Tickets are $26 in advance, or $41 at the event day-of. Attendees are welcome to bring their own food and drink to the festival, which has been ranked by USA Today as America’s No. 1 festival. On its website, Water Lantern Festival says its aim is to inspire the human spirit.

“Water Lantern Festival is an incredible experience where thousands of family, friends, and strangers celebrate life together. Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. You’ll cherish these moments as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns and the lights reflecting upon the water.”

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