Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival – A Must-See Lighting Event


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Dive into the mesmerizing Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival – a celebration of community, love, and peace all illuminated in the glow of floating water lanterns. 

rhode island water lantern main
Festival highlights

About the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival

Inspired by the captivating floating lantern festivals of Asia, the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival offers a unique experience steeped in beauty and tranquility. Attendees are enveloped in a spectacle of floating lights that adorn the water, symbolizing peace, love, and community unity. The sight of countless lanterns gently drifting on the water’s surface under the starry sky creates a moment of collective awe and wonder.

But the festival is more than just its stunning water lanterns. It buzzes with the energy of live music, the aroma of diverse cuisines from food trucks, and the joy of various fun-filled activities. Among these, lantern decorating stands out, allowing participants to express their thoughts and wishes before setting their lanterns afloat.

An unmissable event, the festival merges tradition with contemporary celebration, making it a beacon of cultural fusion and communal harmony. As the lanterns glide over the water, creating a mesmerizing light show, attendees find themselves part of an unforgettable gathering. It’s a celebration that everyone must be a part of. 

Festival Dates (2024)

The Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival is set to illuminate the serene waters of Pawtucket on June 15, 2024. This singular date offers a unique opportunity to partake in a mesmerizing celebration of light and unity. 

It’s a day when the community and visitors alike gather to share in an experience that’s both breathtaking and deeply symbolic. Ensure your plans align to witness this spectacle of light and harmony.

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An image inspired by the serene Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The highly-anticipated water lantern festival finds its picturesque setting in Slater Memorial Park, located at 401 Newport Ave, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States. This sprawling green oasis in Pawtucket serves as the perfect backdrop for the festival, with its calm waters reflecting the soft glow of hundreds of lanterns. The park’s natural beauty and accessible location make it an ideal spot for an event that celebrates community, light, and the beauty of the natural world.

Slater Memorial Park is conveniently situated just about 16 miles from T.F. Green Airport (PVD), the nearest airport to the festival location. This proximity makes the festival easily accessible to visitors flying in for the event.

To get from T.F. Green Airport to Slater Memorial Park, visitors have several options:

  • Taxi or Ride-Sharing: Direct rides from the airport to the park are available and take approximately 25 minutes.
  • Public Transportation: While a direct public transit route is not available, visitors can use a combination of buses with a transfer in Providence.
  • Rental Car: Car rentals are available at the airport, providing flexibility for exploring Pawtucket and the surrounding areas.

For those coming from other cities by train, detailed guidelines are as follows:

  • From Boston, MA: Take an MBTA Commuter Rail train from South Station to Providence Station. From Providence, catch a local bus or taxi to Slater Memorial Park.
  • From New York City, NY: Board an Amtrak train to Providence Station. Upon arrival, utilize local bus services or a taxi to reach the festival location.
  • From Philadelphia, PA: Amtrak offers routes to Providence Station. From there, Slater Memorial Park is accessible via taxi or local bus routes with a transfer in downtown Providence.

If you liked the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival, you may want to check out these other spectacular lantern festivals:

Water Lantern Festival Utah

Kaga Yuzen Toro Nagashi

Festival Hours

The Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival is scheduled to sparkle from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM, ensuring an evening filled with light, music, and joy. Starting at 5:30, the gates open to welcome visitors into a world where they can indulge in an array of food trucks, vibrant music, and endless fun until the event concludes. It’s a perfect setting for families, friends, and individuals to gather and create lasting memories under the shimmering sky.

As the evening progresses, attendees are invited to design their lanterns at 8:00 PM, setting the stage for the night’s highlight. The lantern launch, beginning at 8:30 PM and lasting until 9:30 PM, offers a breathtaking spectacle as the water surface becomes a canvas of twinkling lights.The event draws to a close at 9:30 PM, and is sure to leave everyone with the warmth of shared moments and the glow of lanterns dancing in their hearts.

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An image inspired from the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival

How Much Does It Cost to Attend the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival

Attending the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival allows for a range of pricing options, with adults benefiting from an early purchase discount. Tickets secured by June 7, 2024, are available at $35.99, encouraging early planning for a cost-effective festival experience. As the event date approaches, ticket prices rise to $45.99 until June 14, and those deciding to join in on the day of the event, June 15, will see the price increase to $55.99.

The festival ensures that families have an enjoyable time without straining their budgets. Youth tickets, for ages 8 to 14, are reasonably priced at $17.70, while children under the age of 7 can attend for free, though they do not receive a lantern kit. This pricing strategy aims to make the festival a family-friendly event, welcoming participants of all ages to partake in the magical evening.

For those seeking a special night out, the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival offers a Date Night Special at $71.11. This deal includes everything needed for a memorable evening: two adult tickets, two floating lanterns, and a double portion of the entire adult ticket package. With wristbands for festival entry, lantern kits, LED candles, and more, the package is rounded out by conversation and playing cards to foster connections and fun, ensuring the festival is not only a visual delight but a truly interactive experience.

Weather and What to Wear

In June, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, enjoys the welcoming embrace of early summer weather, offering an ideal backdrop for the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival. Temperatures during this month are pleasantly mild, typically ranging from an average low of 60°F (about 15°C) in the evenings to an average high of 77°F (approximately 25°C) during the day. This comfortable climate not only enhances the experience of the festival but also invites attendees to enjoy the outdoor activities without the discomfort of extreme temperatures.

To comfortably enjoy the festival and everything Pawtucket has to offer in June, here are some recommended clothing options:

  • Light Layers: A breathable, long-sleeve shirt or a light sweater can provide comfort as the evening cools down.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Opt for shoes suitable for walking and standing, as you’ll likely explore various parts of the festival.
  • A Light Jacket or Windbreaker: Useful for the cooler evening hours, especially near the water where it can feel a bit chillier.
  • Pants or Long Shorts: These are ideal for moving around comfortably and sitting on the grass.
  • A Hat or Cap: Protect yourself from the sun during the earlier hours of the festival.
  • Sunglasses: Essential for day-to-evening transitions, protecting your eyes and enhancing comfort.
  • A Small, Waterproof Bag: For carrying personal items and any festival materials, especially useful if there’s a chance of a light summer shower.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

For those attending the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival and seeking comfortable accommodations, the following hotels offer a range of amenities to suit every preference, ensuring a restful stay:

Hampton Inn Pawtucket

  • Location: 2 George St, Pawtucket, RI 02860, United States
  • Description: This eco-certified 2-star hotel is situated conveniently close to the festival location, offering easy access to both the event and local attractions.
  • Amenities: Free wi-fi, indoor pool, and complimentary breakfast.

Omni Providence Hotel

  • Location: 1 W Exchange St, Providence, RI 02903, United States
  • Description: A luxurious 4-star hotel located in the heart of Providence, offering upscale accommodations and easy access to the city’s vibrant cultural and dining scenes.
  • Amenities: Complimentary wi-fi, hot tub, and air-conditioned rooms.

Hampton Inn & Suites Providence/Warwick-Airport

  • Location: 2100 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886, United States
  • Description: This eco-certified 3-star hotel offers a comfortable and convenient stay, located near the airport and within a short driving distance to Pawtucket.
  • Amenities: Indoor pool, complimentary breakfast, and free parking.

Where to Eat – Restaurants Nearby

Discover a selection of delightful dining options near the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival, where guests can enjoy a variety of cuisines to satisfy any palate:

Roast House Pub & Restaurant

  • Location: 176 Columbus Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860, United States
  • Description: An American restaurant known for its vibrant atmosphere, perfect for those looking to enjoy happy hour food, watch sports, and dine with family thanks to its kids’ menu.
  • Foods Served: Offers a hearty selection including ribeye steak, roast turkey, and char chicken salad among others.

579 Benefit Street Restaurant

  • Location: 579 Benefit St, Pawtucket, RI 02861, United States
  • Description: This American restaurant caters to a wide range of tastes, serving happy hour favorites, vegan dishes, and providing a kids’ menu in a cozy setting.
  • Foods Served: Features dishes like fried calamari, a variety of pizzas, and grilled chicken teriyaki, among others.


  • Location: 1537 Newport Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02861, United States
  • Description: A casual Italian restaurant that offers a lengthy menu filled with classic dishes including pasta, meat, and seafood, ideal for those craving Italian flavors.
  • Foods Served: Known for its clam chowder, chicken Barcelona, and veal and ravioli, among other Italian staples.

More Things To Do In The Area

Explore beyond the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival with a variety of attractions in Pawtucket that promise enriching experiences and fun activities for all:

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Slater Memorial Park

  • Location: 401 Newport Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02861, United States
  • Description: As the oldest and largest public park in Pawtucket, Slater Park is not only the festival’s home but also a hub of natural beauty and recreational activities.
  • Activities to Explore: Enjoy walking trails, paddle-boating on the pond, visiting the Daggett Farm, and exploring the Looff Carousel, offering a day’s worth of activities for families and nature enthusiasts alike.

The Guild

  • Location: 461 Main St, Pawtucket, RI 02860, United States
  • Description: A local brewery known for its craft beers and inviting atmosphere, The Guild offers a glimpse into the thriving craft beer scene in Pawtucket.
  • Activities to Explore: Take a brewery tour, sample local craft beers, and enjoy special events and food truck visits that frequently accompany the brewery’s lively tasting room.

Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark

  • Location: 67 Roosevelt Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860, United States
  • Description: The Slater Mill is a historic textile mill complex, recognized as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, with a picturesque setting along the Blackstone River.
  • Activities to Explore: Explore the museum to learn about the industrial history of the United States, participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations, and enjoy the serene surroundings of the riverbank.

An Illuminating Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Experience at Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival

The Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival offers a unique blend of tradition, beauty, and community spirit, making it a must-visit event in Pawtucket. With lanterns lighting up the night and a range of activities, it promises an unforgettable experience for all ages. 

From the serene setting of Slater Memorial Park to the vibrant local cuisine and attractions, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this magical celebration of light and unity.


Is parking available at the festival?

Yes, there is parking available at Slater Memorial Park. However, spaces can fill up quickly, so arriving early is recommended. 

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

Attendees are allowed to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to the festival. Glass containers and alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the festival grounds.

Are pets allowed at the Water Lantern Festival?

While pets are well-loved, they are not allowed at the festival.

Is the festival accessible for individuals with disabilities?

Yes, the festival is accessible for individuals with disabilities. There are designated parking areas and accessible restrooms. If you require special accommodations, it’s recommended to contact the festival organizers in advance.

Can I smoke at the festival?

Smoking, including e-cigarettes and vapes, is not permitted within the festival grounds. This policy helps ensure a clean and safe environment for all attendees.

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

The festival is a rain-or-shine event. In case of extreme weather conditions that could affect the safety of attendees, updates and instructions will be provided through the festival’s official website and social media channels.

Are there any age restrictions for attending the festival?

There are no age restrictions. The Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival is a family-friendly event suitable for all ages. Youth tickets are available for children aged 8-14, and children under 7 can attend for free (without a lantern kit).

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

A lost and found area will be set up at the festival’s information booth. If you lose something, please report to this area. After the event, unclaimed items will be held for a limited time, and you can contact the festival organizers to inquire about lost items.

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An image inspired by the Rhode Island Water Lantern Festival

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


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