Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival – A Must-Visit Lighting Event


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The Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival is a mesmerizing event that illuminates the skies of Lexington, Oklahoma, transforming the night into a breathtaking spectacle of warmth and light.


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Festival highlights

About the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival

At the heart of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival emerges as a beacon of unity and luminescence, drawing inspiration from the traditional Asian celebrations of light. This festival of lights is not just about the awe-inspiring sight of lanterns floating into the night sky; it embodies the collective spirit of community, peace, love, and hope. Attendees are encouraged to inscribe their dreams and aspirations on the lanterns, creating a shared moment of reflection and connection under the starlit canvas.

The festival’s vibrant atmosphere is amplified by an array of activities designed to engage and entertain visitors of all ages. From listening to top local artists set the mood throughout the day to letting loose at dance parties, the event ensures a continuous flow of energy and joy. Interactive games, play areas, and the chance to spend time decorating your lantern provide a personal touch to the experience, making every moment at the festival unique and memorable.

Beyond the light and music, the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival offers a feast for the senses with an extensive selection of food, snacks, and beverages. 

Whether you’re dancing under the glow of lanterns, crafting your light with personal messages, or enjoying the culinary delights, the festival guarantees an unforgettable experience. It’s a celebration that lights up not just the sky but also the hearts of those who partake in this magnificent spectacle of lights and lanterns.

Festival Dates (2024)

The Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival is set to illuminate the night sky on April 6, 2024. This enchanting evening promises a collective moment of beauty, as thousands of lanterns ascend into the darkness. It’s a spectacle that invites reflection, unity, and joy among those gathered.

As spring breathes new life into the world, this festival offers a unique way to celebrate the season’s renewal. Attendees will gather under the stars, participating in a tradition that symbolizes hope and dreams. Don’t miss this magical night where light dances with the night, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

Set amidst the scenic landscapes of Oklahoma, Thunder Valley Raceway Park at 10500 48th St in Lexington offers an idyllic setting for the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival. This venue, renowned for its vast open spaces and serene environment, provides the perfect stage for the mesmerizing light displays and lantern releases that define the festival. Attendees can look forward to an evening where the sky becomes a canvas for their hopes and dreams, illuminated by thousands of lanterns in a spectacular show of light and color.

Located conveniently near Will Rogers World Airport, the journey from the airport to Thunder Valley Raceway Park is a straightforward trip of about 45 minutes. This makes the festival easily accessible for visitors flying in from various locations. 

To ensure a smooth transition from the airport to the festival grounds, guests have several transportation options:

  • Rent a Car: Available at the airport, allowing for flexibility and ease of travel directly to the festival site.
  • Taxi Service: A reliable and direct method to reach Thunder Valley Raceway Park without the need for personal transportation.
  • Ride-Sharing Services: Utilize services like Uber or Lyft for a convenient ride to the festival location.

For those planning to arrive from other cities by train, here are specific guidelines to navigate your way to the festival:

  • From Dallas, Texas:
    • Catch the Heartland Flyer Amtrak train to Oklahoma City.
    • From Oklahoma City, options such as car rentals, taxis, or ride-sharing services are available to reach the festival.
  • From Tulsa, Oklahoma:
    • Take a bus or train to Oklahoma City, with several daily services available.
    • Upon arrival in Oklahoma City, utilize local transportation options like taxis, ride-sharing, or car rentals to get to Thunder Valley Raceway Park.
  • From Wichita, Kansas:
    • Drive or take a bus to Newton, Kansas, then board the Amtrak train to Oklahoma City.
    • Once in Oklahoma City, select from car rental, taxi, or ride-sharing to complete your journey to the festival grounds.

If you liked this festival, you can also checked out these other lantern festivals as well:

Pocono Raceway Lantern Festival

Pingxi Lantern Festival

Festival Hours

As the sun dips below the horizon, the gates of Thunder Valley Raceway Park welcome visitors, offering a serene start to the evening’s festivities. This early opening, a few hours before the sunset, provides ample time for guests to immerse themselves in the prelude to the night’s main event. The air is charged with anticipation, as festival-goers revel in the communal joy and the waning daylight.

As dusk settles and gives way to the dark canvas of the night sky, the festival reaches its crescendo with the sky lantern launch. Each lantern, a bearer of personal hopes and collective dreams, ascends into the night, weaving a breathtaking tapestry of light. This poignant moment, a dance of light against the night, captures the essence of the festival, leaving an unforgettable impression on all who partake.

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An image inspired by the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival

How Much Does It Cost to See the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival

Embarking on the luminous journey of the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival begins with securing your ticket, available at an early bird discount price of $47. This ticket not only grants you entry into a night of unforgettable memories but also includes a lantern and a marker, which are handed to you upon arrival. It’s important to note that each adult ticket is designed for individual use, ensuring every participant aged 13 and above can release their own lantern into the night sky.

For families attending with younger dreamers, kids’ tickets offer a special treat with a discounted rate and a Fun Kit packed with surprises, tailored to each event location. While these tickets do not include a lantern, they ensure that children aged 4 to 12 can still partake in the magic of the festival in their own unique way. Admission is complimentary for children aged 3 and under, making it an inclusive family event where the young ones can bask in the glow of the festivities at no extra cost.

For more details on ticket pricing, please visit the festival’s official website and social media channels.

Weather and What to Wear

April in Lexington, Oklahoma, presents a delightful backdrop for the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival, with the weather typically showcasing the mild and pleasant conditions of early spring. During this month, daytime temperatures hover around the mid-60s to low 70s (°F), while evenings can cool down to the low 50s or high 40s. Such conditions offer a comfortable setting for festival-goers to witness the sky illuminated by lanterns, though the drop in temperature after sunset suggests the need for appropriate attire.

To ensure a comfortable experience at the festival, consider the following clothing recommendations:

  • Lightweight Layers: A combination of short-sleeved tops with long-sleeved shirts or light sweaters allows for easy adjustment to changing temperatures.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Opt for shoes suited for walking and standing for extended periods, as you’ll likely explore different areas of the festival.
  • Jacket or Coat: A must-have for the cooler evening hours, ensuring warmth as the temperature drops.
  • Hat and Scarf: Ideal for extra warmth, especially for those more sensitive to cooler temperatures.
  • Rain Gear: While April is not the wettest month, a light rain jacket or umbrella can come in handy in case of unexpected showers.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After a magical evening at the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival, a comfortable place to rest and reflect on the night’s beauty is essential. Here are some nearby hotels where you can enjoy a cozy stay:

Best Western Lindsay Inn & Suites

  • Location: Purcell, Oklahoma, United States
  • Description: A comfortable and convenient 2-star hotel that offers a blend of modern amenities and warm hospitality, ideal for travelers looking for a relaxing stay.
  • Amenities:
    • Free parking: Guests can enjoy the convenience of complimentary on-site parking.
    • Free breakfast: Start your day with a variety of delicious breakfast options at no extra cost.
    • Indoor pool: Unwind or start your morning with a refreshing swim in the indoor pool.
    • Free Wi-Fi: Stay connected with high-speed internet access available throughout the hotel.

Econo Lodge

  • Location: 2122 State Hwy 74, Purcell, OK 73080, United States
  • Description: A budget-friendly 2-star hotel that provides a simple yet comfortable stay, ideal for travelers looking to economize without sacrificing essential amenities.
  • Amenities:
    • Complimentary parking available
    • Free breakfast included with your stay
    • Pet-friendly accommodations for your furry friends
    • Free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel

Days Inn by Wyndham Pauls Valley

  • Location: 2606 W Grant Ave, Pauls Valley, OK 73075, United States
  • Description: This 2-star hotel, part of the Wyndham group, offers guests a comfortable and budget-friendly stay with easy access to local attractions and amenities.
  • Amenities:
    • Free parking: Provides convenient and secure on-site parking for all guests, ensuring a worry-free stay.
    • Free breakfast: Enjoy a complimentary breakfast that includes a variety of choices to kickstart your day.
    • Free Wi-Fi: Stay connected with reliable and fast internet access, available throughout the hotel for all guests.

Where to Eat

Discovering the local culinary delights is a perfect way to complement your visit to the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival. Here are some nearby restaurants where you can savor delicious meals:

HomeTown Deli

  • Location: 230 US-77, Lexington, OK 73051, United States
  • Description: A cozy spot known for its warm atmosphere and delightful menu, offering a variety of classic deli favorites that promise to satisfy your hunger.
  • Foods They Serve:
    • Fries with a perfect blend of crunch and flavor
    • A wide range of sandwiches, each packed with fresh ingredients

Sonic Drive-in

  • Location: 802 E Broadway St, Lexington, OK
  • Description: A beloved fast-food chain that offers a nostalgic drive-in dining experience, where guests can enjoy a meal without leaving their car.
  • Foods They Serve:
    • Burgers, from classic cheeseburgers to unique creations
    • Desserts, including sundaes and milkshakes
    • Hot Dogs, with a variety of toppings

Big Daddy’s Smokehouse

  • Location: 220 N Main St, Lexington, OK
  • Description: A local favorite, this smokehouse prides itself on serving authentic barbecue, smoked to perfection and accompanied by traditional sides.
  • Foods They Serve:
    • Barbecue, featuring tender, slow-cooked meats with a smoky flavor

More Things to Do in the Area

Exploring the area around the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival offers a wealth of activities and sights that promise to enrich your experience. Here are some must-visit attractions:

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Bricktown Water Taxi

  • Location: 111 S Mickey Mantle Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, United States
  • Description: A popular tourist attraction in Oklahoma City, offering playful and narrated boat rides. These rides provide historical insights as you glide along the Bricktown Canal, making for a memorable and educational experience.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Enjoy narrated boat rides with historical information
    • Explore the vibrant Bricktown area from a unique vantage point

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

  • Location: 415 Couch Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States
  • Description: This museum stands as a beacon of culture in Oklahoma City, showcasing a diverse collection of artworks ranging from ancient to modern times. It’s a place where art and history converge, offering visitors a profound insight into the creative human spirit.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • View exhibitions featuring works from various time periods and cultures
    • Participate in art classes and educational programs

Myriad Botanical Gardens

  • Location: 301 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States
  • Description: Spanning 15 acres in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, the Myriad Botanical Gardens offer a green sanctuary for visitors. With its seasonal displays, concerts, movies, and classes, it provides a plethora of activities throughout the year.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Enjoy the beauty of seasonal bulb displays and lush garden landscapes
    • Attend concerts, movies, and annual children’s festivals
    • Participate in educational classes and workshops

An Illuminating Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit at the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival

The Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival stands as a beacon of hope, unity, and beauty, lighting up the skies with a mesmerizing glow that reflects the dreams and aspirations of its attendees. Each lantern carries a story, a wish, or a memory, creating a tapestry of light that symbolizes collective hope and peace. 

Beyond the radiant spectacle, the festival offers a rich tapestry of activities, food, and music, ensuring a memorable experience for all who partake. It’s an event that not only lights up the night sky but also illuminates the heart of the community, making it an unforgettable gathering that many look forward to year after year.


Is there parking available at the festival?

Yes, there is parking available on-site at Thunder Valley Raceway Park. Please follow the signs and staff instructions upon arrival for designated parking areas.

Are pets allowed at the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival?

Pets are not permitted at the festival to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendees, except for service animals with proper identification.

Can I bring my own lantern to the festival?

No, due to safety and environmental considerations, attendees are not allowed to bring their own lanterns. The festival provides specially designed, biodegradable lanterns that are safe for the environment.

Is smoking allowed at the festival?

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is strictly prohibited inside the festival grounds to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all attendees.

What should I do if I have special dietary needs?

The festival offers a variety of food options, including vendors that may offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. However, attendees with specific dietary requirements are encouraged to contact the festival ahead of time or consider bringing their own snacks.

What happens if it rains on the day of the festival?

The Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival is a rain-or-shine event. In case of severe weather, the festival may be postponed or rescheduled. Please check the official festival website and social media channels for updates.

Are children allowed to attend the festival?

Yes, children of all ages are welcome. There are discounted tickets for children aged 4-12, and children 3 and under can attend for free. The festival offers activities suitable for all age levels.

What safety measures are in place for the lantern release?

The festival prioritizes safety with on-site professionals monitoring the lantern release. Attendees are given safety instructions, and the lanterns are made from biodegradable materials designed to minimize environmental impact.

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An image inspired from the Oklahoma City Sky Lantern Festival

Sources: https://thelightsfest.com/sky-lantern-events/oklahoma-city/ 


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