Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival – A Must-See Lighting Event


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Welcome to the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival – an illuminating celebration of togetherness, love, and hope set in the Pennsylvania skies.


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Festival highlights

About the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival

At the heart of Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival emerges as a beacon of unity and inspiration. It is a mesmerizing event where the night sky is painted with the gentle glow of sky lanterns, reminiscent of the grand festivals of lights in Asia. Here, attendees from diverse backgrounds come together in a shared moment of reflection, joy, and communal uplift.

The festival serves as a poignant canvas for expressing love, loss, and longing. For some, it’s a solemn moment to honor loved ones who have passed away, sending lanterns into the sky as symbols of remembrance and peace. Others see it as a chance to cast their dreams and hopes into the ether, attaching heartfelt messages to their lanterns before watching them ascend into the darkness.

Embodying the spirit of community, love, and hope, the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival stands as a testament to the power of collective aspiration and the beauty of shared experiences. It’s not just a festival of lights; it’s an unforgettable experience that binds attendees in a tapestry of light, dreams, and togetherness. In this festival, every light represents a story, and the sky becomes a gallery of human emotion and aspiration.

Festival Dates (2024)

The Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival is set to cast its warm glow on June 1, 2024, transforming the night into a spectacle of light and dreams. This singular event draws together a community in celebration, under the canopy of a starlit sky. Make sure to visit for an evening where the air is alive with hope, illuminated by the soft light of countless lanterns.

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An image inspired by the breathtaking Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival in New Castle, Pennsylvania

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

A highly-anticipated event, the  Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival finds its home at the Lawrence County Fair, located at 464 Midway Rd, New Castle, Pennsylvania, United States. This picturesque venue, nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania’s countryside, offers the perfect backdrop for an evening of light, love, and communal celebration. The fairgrounds become a canvas for the night, where sky lanterns paint the sky with their gentle glow, inviting festival-goers into a realm of beauty and tranquility.

The Lawrence County Fair is approximately 50 miles north of Pittsburgh International Airport, the nearest major airport. This proximity makes the festival easily accessible to visitors traveling from afar.

To get from Pittsburgh International Airport to the festival location, visitors have several options:

  • Rent a Car: The most flexible option, allowing for direct travel to the fairgrounds.
  • Taxi Service: Available at the airport, offering a direct but more costly route.
  • Rideshare Apps: Such as Uber or Lyft, provide convenient and often more economical travel directly to the fairgrounds.

For those considering train travel from other cities, here are detailed guidelines:

  • From Philadelphia: Take an Amtrak train to Pittsburgh Union Station. From there, rent a car or use a rideshare service to travel to New Castle.
  • From New York City: Board an Amtrak train to Pittsburgh Union Station, then proceed by car rental or rideshare to reach the festival.
  • From Washington, D.C.: Similar to the routes from Philadelphia and New York City, start with an Amtrak train to Pittsburgh, followed by a car rental or rideshare journey to New Castle.

If you liked this festival, you can also check out these other amazing sky lantern festivals:

Pingxi Lantern Festival

Vesak Day

Festival Hours

The Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival begins its festivities before sunset, opening its gates to a world where live music, fun-filled activities, and tasty foods abound. As the evening sky darkens, the highlight of the event takes center stage with the launching of sky lanterns, illuminating the night in a spectacular display. This seamless blend of daylight enjoyment and evening splendor offers an unforgettable experience to everyone who attends.

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An image inspired from the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival

How Much Does it Cost to See the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival

Early birds catch the best deals with tickets priced at $32, encouraging attendees to plan ahead for this luminous occasion. As the event draws nearer, discount tickets become available for $39, before reaching the final price of $68, reflecting the unique experience each ticket holds. Included in the adult ticket price is a lantern and marker, received upon check-in, ensuring each participant age 13 and over can contribute their light to the night sky.

For younger attendees, kids’ tickets offer a special discount and come with a Fun Kit, minus the lantern, catering to the festival’s family-friendly atmosphere. These tickets are required for children aged 4-12, while toddlers 3 and under enjoy the festival for free. This pricing structure ensures that families of all sizes can join in the celebration, creating memories that shine as bright as the lanterns themselves.

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

Weather and What to Wear

In June, New Castle, Pennsylvania, welcomes the summer season with open arms, offering warm days and mildly cool evenings perfect for outdoor events like the lights festival. The average daytime temperatures hover around the mid-70s to low 80s°F (around 24-28°C), while nighttime temperatures can drop to a comfortable range of the mid-50s to low 60s°F (around 12-16°C). This pleasant weather sets the stage for a night under the stars, surrounded by the gentle glow of lanterns.

For a comfortable experience at the festival, here are some recommended clothing options:

  • Lightweight, breathable clothing: Ideal for the daytime warmth and staying comfortable as you explore.
  • Comfortable walking shoes: You’ll likely be on your feet, moving around for the different activities.
  • A light jacket or sweater: Essential for the evening, as temperatures can cool down after sunset.
  • A hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun during the early hours of the festival.
  • A raincoat or umbrella: Just in case, since June can occasionally surprise with a quick rain shower.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After a magical evening at the festival, finding the perfect place to rest and reflect on the night’s beauty is essential. Here are three comfortable and convenient hotels nearby:

Hampton Inn & Suites New Castle

  • Location: 2608 W State St, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: A 3-star, eco-certified hotel offering a comfortable stay with modern amenities.
  • Amenities: Free wi-fi, indoor pool, free parking, complimentary breakfast

Quality Inn & Suites New Castle

  • Location: 1740 New Butler Rd, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: A budget-friendly 2-star hotel that doesn’t skimp on comfort or convenience.
  • Amenities: Free wi-fi, complimentary breakfast, free parking

Super 8 by Wyndham New Castle

  • Location: 1699 New Butler Rd, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: This 2-star hotel offers basic accommodations with essential amenities, ideal for travelers looking for value.
  • Amenities: Complimentary breakfast, free wi-fi, free parking

What to Eat

Exploring the vibrant culinary scene is a must when visiting New Castle. Here are three notable restaurants that promise a delightful dining experience:

Edwards Restaurant

  • Location: 909 Wilmington Rd, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: A family-friendly pub that offers a convivial atmosphere with an American menu featuring burgers, wings, and an array of drinks. It boasts a bar area and an outdoor patio.
  • Foods Served: Fish tacos, cheese sticks, and grilled salmon salad, among others.

Los Amigos Family Restaurant & Bar

  • Location: 2017 W State St, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: This Mexican restaurant serves a variety of traditional dishes in a setting that’s great for sports fans and happy hour enthusiasts. They cater to vegan dietary needs as well.
  • Foods Served: Huevos con chorizo, Milanesa chicken, and quesadillas, among others

Kelly’s Side Door Tavern

  • Location: 1403 Old Butler Rd, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: A welcoming bar and grill that offers a casual dining experience, perfect for sports fans. They feature a kids’ menu, making it a great option for families.
  • Foods Served: Swiss and mushroom burger, hot pepper cheeseburger, and smothered chicken, among others

More Things to Do in the Area

Discovering New Castle doesn’t end with the festival; the area is brimming with attractions and activities for all interests.

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Cascade Park

  • Location: 1928 E Washington St, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: Once an amusement park, Cascade Park has transformed into a beautiful nature park, retaining its historic charm and natural beauty, including the stunning Big Run Falls.
  • Activities to Explore: Hiking along scenic trails, picnicking in serene spots, and enjoying the playground and open spaces.

Neshannock Creek Brewing

  • Location: 0 S Mercer St, New Castle, PA 16101, United States
  • Description: A local brewery known for its craft beers and welcoming atmosphere, offering visitors a taste of local brewing excellence.
  • Activities to Explore: Sampling craft beers, learning about the brewing process, and enjoying the cozy taproom atmosphere.

Historic Warner Cascade Theatre Museum at The Riverplex

  • Location: 11 S Mill St, New Castle, PA 16103, United States
  • Description: This museum and historic theater celebrates the legacy of the Warner Brothers, showcasing the rich history of cinema and the Warner’s ties to New Castle.
  • Activities to Explore: Viewing historic film memorabilia, learning about the Warner Brothers’ history, and experiencing the architecture of the historic theater.

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

The Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival stands as a beacon of light, bringing together community, hope, and dreams under a canopy of stars. With its mesmerizing display of lanterns, this festival offers a unique experience that captivates the hearts of all who attend. 

Beyond the lights, the festival is a gateway to exploring the rich offerings of New Castle, from natural beauty to local brews and historical treasures. Whether you’re seeking a night of serene beauty or an adventure in a quaint Pennsylvania town, this festival promises memories that will last a lifetime.


Is parking available at the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival?

Yes, there is ample parking available at the festival venue. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to secure a spot, as spaces fill up quickly due to the event’s popularity.

Can I smoke at the festival?

The festival is a smoke-free event to ensure the comfort and safety of all guests. This includes the prohibition of cigarettes, cigars, and electronic smoking devices.

Are pets allowed at the festival?

No, pets are not allowed at the festival to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendees and the animals themselves.

What should I bring to the festival?

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs for seating, a jacket for the cooler evening temperatures, and a camera to capture the beautiful moments. 

Is the festival accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the festival grounds are accessible for people with disabilities. There are also designated areas for viewing the lantern release, ensuring everyone can enjoy the event.

Can I bring my own lantern to the festival?

For safety and environmental reasons, personal lanterns are not allowed. The festival provides specially designed, biodegradable lanterns that are safe for release into the environment.

What happens if it rains on the festival day?

In case of rain, the festival may be postponed to a later date. Check the official festival website and social media channels for updates and announcements regarding weather-related changes.

Are there any age restrictions for attendees?

The festival is a family-friendly event open to all ages. Children under the age of 13 should be accompanied by an adult.

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An image inspired by the Pittsburgh Sky Lantern Festival

Sources: https://thelightsfest.com/sky-lantern-events/pittsburgh/ 


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