Reno: Lantern Fest

HikeSnobs rate this: 3thumb

Visited: October 17, 2015

Description: A night full of activities ending with a beautiful release of floating lanterns

Tickets & Locations:

UPDATE: Lantern Fest 2016 tickets are available now!

Fun Fact: The lanterns are 100% biodegradable. After each release, professional “Lantern Chasers” hunt down ~90% of lanterns after the event.

Price: $25-50 depending on how early you get the ticket

Duration: 3p-10p

Parking: Lot $5 (every city will be different)

Pets: On leash

Bring: Water, warm clothes, snacks or food, blanket and/or chairs to sit on

Historically lanterns were used to symbolize a bright future and good fortune. In the 19th century, Taiwan started a tradition where sky lanterns were lit at the beginning of spring to welcome the new year. The lanterns were released with hand written messages of wishes and hopes for a prosperous year. It was also used as way to ward off evil and to let their ancestors know that all is well. Over the years, a simple tradition slowly evolved to a massive local event in Pingxi, Taiwan. Having always wanting to attend Taiwan’s Lantern Festival, HikeSnobs found a cheaper and closer alternative. Although it’s not as massive as the one in Taiwan, Reno’s Lantern Fest will do for now!

The gates opened at 3pm and the lanterns were set to release shortly after sunset. We recommend coming a few hours before sunset because there are a lot of activities prior to the release. After parking in the lot, we went to grab our tickets which also included a single lantern, a lighter, graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows and skewers. Face painting, bouncy houses, live entertainment, yummy food, bonfires with smores-making were the activities of the night.

As the sky began to darken, our excitement began to grow. We could tell the crowd was getting anxious as well.


When we were given the cue to begin, lanterns were lit left and right.


Watching them gently float into the sky and disappear into the night was truly an amazing experience.


It was tough for us to keep our eyes off the sky but we had our own lanterns to light. We attempted to light the lantern ourselves but it was a lot harder than we expected. The lighters we received almost instantly gave up on us, so we had to use a tiki torch that happened to be close by.

With three people holding down the lanterns, we were finally able to light them up and let them go.


We bought extra lanterns from Amazon that were pretty dangerous. Some lanterns began to burn and others would not take off properly. The wind wasn’t our friend that night 😦 Neither were the lanterns we bought on Amazon…


Let’s get a slow-motion view of Alice’s almost tragic incident…

The HikeSnobs almost became half a HikeSnob

Despite our close calls, it was an amazing night. We made it out without third degree burns. Another success in the HikeSnobs’ book!


@HikeSnobs Tips:

  • Go early to enjoy all the free stuff!
  • Bring extra lanterns, because one isn’t enough. We bought more on Amazon (15 for $10).
  • Bring your own lighter, because the one they gave us didn’t work so well.
  • Avoid burning the lantern or letting it go too soon!
  • It may be a good idea to wait to light your lantern so you can enjoy the beautiful release of everyone else’s lanterns.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Leave us a message below!

13 thoughts on “Reno: Lantern Fest

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