Portland Water Lantern Festival – A Must-See Lighting Celebration


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Dive into the enchanting Portland Water Lantern Festival where the spirit of unity, love, and harmony is celebrated under the starry Oregon skies. Join us in this illuminating journey.


Portland water lantern main
Festival highlights

About the Portland Water Lantern Festival

Inspired by famous Asian lantern festivals, the Portland Water Lantern Festival is set to be a captivating blend of culture and community in the heart of Portland. In this celebration of peace and love, thousands of lanterns will illuminate the water, with each lantern carrying messages of hope, love, and remembrance. This event promises to be a profound gathering that bridges diverse backgrounds through a shared, illuminating experience.

Aside from the sights of glowing water lanterns, attendees will enjoy the strains of live music mingling with the festive atmosphere. A diverse array of food trucks will also line the venue, offering culinary delights that will cater to all tastes. Additionally, lantern-decorating workshops and other interactive activities will provide a fun, hands-on component to the festival, fostering creativity and community engagement.

Overall, the Portland Water Lantern Festival is a vibrant celebration of light and connection that is not to be missed. It is the perfect opportunity to experience a magical evening filled with love, peace, harmony, lights, and community spirit under the Oregon skies.

Festival Dates (2024)

Circle June 15, 2024, on your calendars for a magical evening at the Portland Water Lantern Festival. This enchanting one-night event promises a luminous spectacle of lights, offering a memorable experience under the summer stars. It is an ideal setting to enjoy the warmth and beauty of June while witnessing a breathtaking display of community and light.

The festivities begin as dusk falls, casting a soft glow perfect for the evening’s celebrations. Amidst the pleasant weather of early summer, the festival grounds will come alive with music, laughter, and the gentle drift of lanterns on the water. 

Make sure not to miss this splendid occasion—it’s a chance to create lasting memories in a truly spectacular setting.

Portland water lantern 1
An image inspired by the Portland Water Lantern Festival

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Portland Water Lantern Festival is set to illuminate Laurelhurst Park this year, located at SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd & Stark St, Portland, Oregon, United States. Renowned for its natural beauty, Laurelhurst Park offers an idyllic setting with over 250 trees and a charming duck pond, making it one of Portland’s most scenic escapes. This picturesque park provides the perfect backdrop for the festival’s enchanting display of light and unity.

Laurelhurst Park is conveniently situated approximately 5 miles east of Portland International Airport, making it easily accessible for traveling visitors. Here are the travel options available:

  • Taxi: A quick and direct route, taking about 20 minutes depending on traffic.
  • Ride-sharing Services: Options like Uber and Lyft are readily available from the airport and provide a convenient way to reach the park directly.
  • Public Transit: Take the MAX Red Line from the airport and transfer to Bus 75 at NE 82nd Ave MAX Station, which stops near the park.

For those coming from other cities by train, Laurelhurst Park is accessible with a few transit changes:

From Seattle, WA:

  • Take the Amtrak Cascades train to Portland Union Station.
  • From Union Station, board the TriMet Bus 20 towards Gresham TC, which will drop you close to the park.

From Salem, OR:

  • Board the Amtrak Cascades northbound to Portland Union Station.
  • Transition to the TriMet Bus 20 towards Gresham TC for a direct route to near the park.

From Vancouver, WA:

  • Take a local bus to Portland, or drive across the Interstate Bridge and follow signs to downtown Portland.
  • From downtown, take TriMet Bus 15 which provides direct access to Laurelhurst Park.

If you liked the Portland Water Lantern Festival, you can also check out these other mesmerizing water lantern festivals:

Bakersfield Water Lantern Festival

Water Lantern Festival Utah

Festival Hours

The highly-anticipated water lantern festival will run from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, bringing an evening full of festivity and charm. Visitors will be welcomed by lively music and the delicious offerings of diverse food trucks as they prepare for the evening’s main event. As darkness settles, the tranquil spectacle of launching water lanterns will light up the night, creating a breathtaking scene of floating lights.

The event is tailored to entertain attendees of all ages, with activities planned to keep the atmosphere vibrant and engaging throughout the evening. Participants can enjoy live performances and get creative with lantern decorating, adding a personal touch to the collective glow. 

The  mesmerizing festival will conclude at 10:00 PM, leaving the park aglow with the soft light of lanterns drifting across the water, symbolizing unity and peace.

Portland water lantern 2
An image inspired from the Portland Water Lantern Festival

How Much Does It Cost to Attend the Portland Water Lantern Festival

Attending the Portland Water Lantern Festival offers a range of ticketing options to suit different needs and timings. Adult tickets are priced at $35.99 if purchased by June 7, 2024. If you miss this early bird pricing, tickets will be available for $45.99 until June 14, and then for $55.99 on the day of the event, June 15.

For families, the festival is an affordable outing, with special rates for younger attendees. Youth tickets, for ages 8 to 14, are reasonably priced at $13.70 each. Children under the age of 7 can enter for free, although this does not include a lantern kit.

The festival also offers a unique package for couples looking to enjoy a romantic and memorable evening. The Date Night Special costs $71.11 and includes two adult tickets with ticket protection, entry wristbands, and a host of extras such as two lantern kits, markers, drawstring bags, and playing cards. This package is perfect for couples wanting to make the most of their festival experience, complete with a mandala throw to share during the event.

For more details and information on ticket prices, you can visit the festival’s official website.

Weather and What to Wear

June in Portland, Oregon, marks the beginning of the summer season, characterized by its mild and often ideal weather conditions. The average daytime temperatures hover around 75°F (24°C), while the evenings can be cooler, with temperatures typically falling to around 55°F (13°C). This temperate climate, combined with the city’s lush greenery, makes it a wonderful time for outdoor activities like the Portland Water Lantern Festival.

To ensure comfort and enjoyment during the festival, here are some clothing recommendations:

  • Light Layers: Bring a light jacket or a sweater, as evenings can be cool, especially near open spaces like parks.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Opt for comfortable walking shoes as you might explore the park or stand for extended periods during the festival.
  • Rain Gear: June can occasionally see rain, so packing a waterproof jacket or a small umbrella might be wise.
  • Casual Wear: Dress in casual, breathable clothing to stay comfortable throughout the event.
  • Accessories: Consider a hat and sunglasses for daytime comfort, and perhaps a small, portable seat cushion for any impromptu seating areas.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

If you’re planning to attend the Portland Water Lantern Festival and need a place to stay, consider these convenient lodging options near the event venue:

Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront

  • Location: 1401 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97201, United States
  • Description: A luxurious 4-star hotel that combines comfort and convenience, ideally situated along the scenic waterfront, just minutes from downtown attractions.
  • Amenities: Includes a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioned rooms, enhancing your stay with both leisure and practicality.

Hampton Inn & Suites Portland-Pearl District

  • Location: 354 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209, United States
  • Description: This eco-certified 2-star hotel is nestled in the vibrant Pearl District, known for its art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.
  • Amenities: Offers guests indoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary breakfast, making it a great choice for both business and leisure travelers.

Portland Inn

  • Location: 405 NE Columbia Blvd #1421, Portland, OR 97211, United States
  • Description: A budget-friendly 1-star hotel offering a no-frills lodging experience with easy access to major highways and Portland attractions.
  • Amenities: Features include free parking, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioned rooms, providing essential comforts at an affordable price.

Where to Eat – Restaurants Nearby

For those attending the Portland Water Lantern Festival and looking to dine out, here are some excellent nearby restaurants that offer a variety of flavors and dining experiences:

Portland City Grill

  • Location: U.S. Bancorp, 111 SW 5th Ave 30th Floor, Portland, OR 97204, United States
  • Description: An upscale seafood and New American restaurant that offers dishes with an Asian twist, complete with a 30th-floor skyline view that enhances the dining experience.
  • Foods Served: Specialties include seafood Alfredo, chicken marsala, and herb roasted pork loin, along with great cocktails and vegetarian options.

Screen Door Eastside

  • Location: 2337 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214, United States
  • Description: This Southern restaurant is famous for its refined specialties such as buttermilk-fried chicken with options for outdoor seating and weekend brunch.
  • Foods Served: Menu highlights include mixed mushroom scramble, huevos rancheros, and a fried catfish sandwich.


  • Location: 113 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, United States
  • Description: A vibrant, rustic-chic restaurant that brings creative South American cuisine to Portland, featuring a lively happy hour and a diverse tapas menu.
  • Foods Served: Diners can enjoy dishes like apple salad, pan-seared scallops, and Peruvian fried chicken bites, alongside vegetarian options and a selection of beverages.

More Things to Do in the Area

Explore more of Portland’s rich cultural and natural offerings with these additional attractions near the Water Lantern Festival:

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Oregon Zoo

  • Location: 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
  • Description: Nestled within Washington Park and approximately 2 miles southwest of downtown Portland, the Oregon Zoo is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi River, founded in 1888. This 64-acre site, managed by the regional Metro government, is home to a diverse array of species and offers a wide range of educational programs.
  • Activities: Visitors can explore exhibits featuring animals from around the world, participate in seasonal events, and enjoy family-friendly educational opportunities.

Portland Japanese Garden

  • Location: 611 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States
  • Description: This serene 5.5-acre garden showcases various styles of Japanese landscaping, complete with a waterfall, teahouse, and stunning mountain views. It is recognized as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan.
  • Activities: Explore tranquil paths, view traditional tea ceremonies, and attend cultural events that celebrate Japanese heritage.

Washington Park

  • Location: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States
  • Description: Washington Park is a comprehensive urban park encompassing not only the Oregon Zoo but also a forestry museum, arboretum, rose garden, Japanese garden, and much more. This sprawling park is a hub of Portland’s outdoor activities and cultural life.
  • Activities: Enjoy the amphitheater, archery range, tennis courts, soccer fields, picnic areas, and playgrounds, or hike through miles of wild forest trails dotted with public art.

An Illuminating Conclusion: Final Thoughts on the Portland Water Lantern Festival

The Portland Water Lantern Festival promises to be a magical night, where the reflective surfaces of Laurelhurst Park’s waters will come alive with the soft glow of floating lanterns. As the sun sets, attendees will have the unique opportunity to write messages of hope and love on their lanterns, setting them adrift in a collective gesture of unity and peace. It’s an event that combines the beauty of Portland’s natural scenery with a profound cultural experience that resonates with people of all ages.

This festival is not just about the spectacle of lights; it’s a chance to connect with the community, enjoy local cuisine, and soak in the festive atmosphere. With various activities scheduled throughout the evening, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Make sure to join this celebration of light and life at Laurelhurst Park—it’s an experience that you will not want to miss.


Is parking available at the festival?

Limited parking is available near Laurelhurst Park, and we recommend using public transportation or ride-sharing services for convenience.

Can I bring my own food and drinks?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages to the festival.

Are pets allowed at the event?

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

Is smoking permitted at the festival?

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted within the festival grounds to ensure a healthy, enjoyable environment for all.

What should I do if I lose an item at the festival?

Lost items can be reported and retrieved at the designated Lost & Found area during the festival.

Are there restroom facilities available?

Yes, there are portable restroom facilities available throughout the park for use during the festival.

Can I bring a camera or drone to capture the event?

Cameras are welcome, but drones are not permitted to ensure the safety and privacy of all festival attendees.

Are there any age restrictions for attending the festival?

There are no age restrictions; the Portland Water Lantern Festival is a family-friendly event that welcomes attendees of all ages.

Portland water lantern 3
An image inspired by the Portland Water Lantern Festival

Sources: https://www.waterlanternfestival.com/portland.php 


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