Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival – A Lighting Event You Have to See


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Festival highlights

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival – an event that lights up the night with a mesmerizing glow. Happening at the iconic Hollywood Casino in Grantville, this event draws visitors from near and far.

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As hundreds of lanterns ascend into the evening sky, they create a breathtaking spectacle of light, peace, and hope. It is a moment where time seems to stand still, inviting everyone to pause and revel in the shared beauty of this unforgettable celebration.

About the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival 

As part of the Night Lights Event, the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival stands as a poignant celebration of love and togetherness. The air fills with an electric sense of unity as thousands gather, each person holding a lantern, ready to make a wish. It’s a moment that transcends the ordinary, turning a simple night into a canvas of hope and dreams.

The festival’s essence is peace and hope, symbolized by the gentle ascent of lanterns into the night sky. Each lantern carries a message, a dream, or a memory, turning the sky into a tapestry of human emotions. It’s a breathtaking sight that unites strangers in a shared experience of beauty and reflection.

As the lanterns float upwards, they create a sea of light that illuminates the darkness, symbolizing guidance and support for one another. The festival is more than just an event; it’s a testament to the collective spirit of humanity. In this shared light, participants find a moment of peace, a breath of hope, and a sense of infinite possibility.

Festival Dates (2024)

Mark your calendars for October 26, 2024, the scheduled date for this year’s Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival. This one-night event promises an unforgettable experience, transforming the sky into a canvas of light and color. As dusk falls over the Hollywood Casino in Grantville, the anticipation builds. It’s a time to gather, wish, and watch as dreams take flight in the form of glowing lanterns.

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An image inspired by the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival is set against the exciting backdrop of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, located at 777 Hollywood Blvd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States. This iconic venue, known for its thrilling horse racing and entertainment, offers the perfect setting for the festival, providing a vast open space where lanterns can ascend into the night sky, creating a magical panorama for all attendees.

Situated conveniently close to Harrisburg International Airport, the festival location is just about a 30-minute drive away, making it easily accessible for those flying in for the event. Visitors have several transportation options to reach the festival from the airport:

  • Taxi Service: Available directly outside the airport, offering a direct route to the festival location.
  • Ride-Sharing Apps: Uber and Lyft operate in the area, providing flexible and convenient travel options.
  • Car Rental: Multiple agencies are available at the airport for those who prefer to drive themselves.

For those considering a scenic route to Grantville, Pennsylvania, by train from other cities, here’s a detailed guideline:

  • From Philadelphia: Take the Amtrak Keystone Service from Philadelphia 30th Street Station to Harrisburg Transportation Center. From Harrisburg, local bus services or a short taxi ride can get you to Grantville.
  • From New York City: Board the Amtrak Pennsylvanian or the Keystone Service from Penn Station to Harrisburg Transportation Center. Upon arrival, utilize local transportation options to reach the festival venue in Grantville.
  • From Pittsburgh: The Amtrak Pennsylvanian offers a direct route to Harrisburg Transportation Center. From there, Grantville is accessible via a brief car or bus journey.

If you liked this lantern festival, you might want to check out these other amazing lantern festivals as well:

Pingxi Lantern Festival

Vesak Day

Festival Hours

The Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival offers an immersive experience from 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM, filled with more than just the enchanting sight of lanterns ascending into the night sky. Early hours are bustling with engaging activities and musical performances, setting a festive mood. As the sun sets, the anticipation for the lantern release grows, culminating in the festival’s highlight. It’s a day-long celebration that promises magic, music, and memories for all.

How Much Does It Cost to See the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival

Attending the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival is an investment in a unique and unforgettable experience, with regular priced tickets ranging between $64 to $74. However, savvy festival-goers know that purchasing tickets early can lead to significant savings. Prices gradually increase as the event date approaches, making early decisions beneficial.

The festival offers a structured ticketing system to accommodate this, categorized into tiers: Super Early Bird, Early Bird, Regular Bird, Last Call, and Doors Closing. Each tier represents a phase in the ticket sales timeline, with prices escalating as the event nears. Opting for Super Early Bird or Early Bird tickets is the most cost-effective strategy for those planning to witness this spectacular event.

For the latest updates on ticket pricing, please visit the festival’s official website. 

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An image inspired from the majestic beauty of the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival

Weather and What to Wear

The weather in Grantville, Pennsylvania, during October typically features crisp autumnal conditions. Daytime temperatures can range from the mid-50s to the low 60s Fahrenheit (around 12-17°C), while evenings tend to be cooler, often dipping into the 40s Fahrenheit (around 4-9°C). This transitional weather makes for a picturesque setting as the lanterns rise into the dusk sky, but it also means attendees should dress appropriately to stay comfortable throughout the event.

To ensure a pleasant experience at the festival, here are some recommended clothing options:

  • Layered Clothing: Start with a base layer and add a sweater or fleece, so you can adjust to changing temperatures.
  • Warm Outerwear: A jacket or coat is essential for the cooler evening hours, especially when the sun sets and temperatures drop.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Choose shoes suitable for walking and standing for extended periods, as you’ll likely be moving around to view the lanterns and partake in activities.
  • Accessories: Hats, gloves, and scarves can provide extra warmth, especially as the evening progresses.
  • Rain Gear: An umbrella or waterproof jacket is wise to have on hand, as October can occasionally bring unexpected showers.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

For those attending the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival and looking for a place to stay, numerous hotels nearby offer comfort and convenience.

Days Inn by Wyndham Grantville Hershey North

  • Location: 252 Bow Creek Rd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: This 2-star hotel provides basic, comfortable accommodations ideal for budget-conscious travelers.
  • Amenities:
    • Free parking
    • Complimentary breakfast
    • Wi-Fi access

Hampton Inn Harrisburg/Grantville/Hershey

  • Location: 255 Bow Creek Rd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: A 3-star hotel offering a blend of comfort and convenience, perfect for families and business travelers alike.
  • Amenities:
    • Free parking
    • Indoor pool for relaxation
    • Pet-friendly, welcoming your furry friends

MainStay Suites Grantville – Hershey North

  • Location: 105 Kelley Ct, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: This 3-star extended stay hotel is designed for longer stays, providing home-like amenities and spacious accommodations.
  • Amenities:
    • Complimentary parking
    • Free Wi-Fi, keeping you connected
    • Fully equipped kitchens in every suite

Where to Eat

Exploring the culinary delights of Grantville is a must-do for attendees of the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival, with options ranging from cozy local eateries to more refined dining experiences.

Thoroughbred’s Bar & Grille

  • Location: 10104 Jonestown Rd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: A classic bar and grill atmosphere that’s perfect for casual dining with friends and family.
  • Foods Served:
    • Wings, a must-try for spice lovers
    • California Cheeseburger, packed with fresh flavors
    • Fish Sandwich, a lighter but equally tasty option

Fabio’s Restaurant

  • Location: 108 Kelley Ct, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: This Italian restaurant offers a cozy ambiance with outdoor seating and a warm fireplace, along with vegetarian-friendly options.
  • Foods Served:
    • Fettuccine Alfredo with Ham and Mushroom, a creamy delight
    • Mac and Cheese, a comforting classic with a gourmet twist

Great American Grille

  • Location: 604 Station Rd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: An American restaurant known for its hearty meals and welcoming atmosphere, ideal for refueling after a day at the festival.
  • Foods Served:
    • A variety of sandwiches, catering to all tastes
    • Steaks, perfectly cooked to order

More Things to Do in the Area

Beyond the enchanting Sky Lantern Festival, Grantville offers a plethora of activities and attractions that promise to enrich your visit with memorable experiences.

Batz Farm

  • Location: 45 Bullfrog Rd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: A charming farm in Pennsylvania where visitors can engage in the heartwarming activity of cuddling and snuggling with newborn goats, offering a unique and gentle interaction with these adorable animals.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Goat cuddling sessions, perfect for animal lovers
    • Farm tours, providing insight into rural life

Penn National Race Course

  • Location: 777 Hollywood Blvd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: This renowned thoroughbred horse racing track offers the thrill of live races, complete with outdoor stadium seating, complemented by the excitement of the adjacent Hollywood Casino for those feeling lucky.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Watching live horse races, an exhilarating experience
    • Trying your luck at the Hollywood Casino

Memorial Lake State Park

  • Location: 18 Boundary Rd, Grantville, PA 17028, United States
  • Description: Nestled in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County, this 230-acre state park surrounds Memorial Lake and offers a serene retreat into nature, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and families.
  • Activities to Explore:
    • Hiking and walking trails, for nature enthusiasts
    • Boating and fishing, offering a tranquil escape from the festival’s excitement

An Illuminating Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Experience at the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival

The Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival in Grantville is an event that transcends the ordinary, bringing together people from all walks of life under a canopy of light and dreams. It’s a celebration that illuminates the night, fosters connections, and creates unforgettable memories. From the moment the first lantern lifts into the sky to the last note of music fading into the night, the festival is a testament to the beauty of shared experiences. 

Whether you’re a local or a traveler, this festival promises a magical journey, leaving you with a heart full of peace and eyes sparkling with wonder.


Is there parking available at the festival site?

Yes, ample parking is available at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, with designated areas for festival attendees.

Can I bring my own sky lantern to the festival?

For safety and environmental reasons, personal sky lanterns are not permitted. The festival provides specially designed, biodegradable lanterns that are safe for use during the event.

Are pets allowed at the Sky Lantern Festival?

Pets are not typically allowed at the festival to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendees, with the exception of service animals.

Is the festival suitable for children?

Absolutely! The Sky Lantern Festival is a family-friendly event, with various activities designed to entertain attendees of all ages.

What happens in case of bad weather?

The festival has contingency plans for inclement weather, including potential rescheduling. Attendees are advised to check the official festival website or social media channels for updates.

Is smoking allowed at the festival grounds?

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is usually restricted to designated areas to ensure the comfort and safety of all festival-goers.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?

While some festivals allow small snacks and sealed water bottles, it’s best to check the specific guidelines for the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival, as they may vary. A variety of food and beverage vendors are typically available on-site.

What should I wear to the festival?

Given the outdoor setting and the variable October weather in Pennsylvania, it’s recommended to dress in layers. Comfortable footwear is also suggested, as there may be a significant amount of walking or standing on uneven ground.

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An image inspired by the Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival


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