Washington Sky Lantern Festival – A Lighting Event You Can’t Miss


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Festival highlights

Welcome to the Washington Sky Lantern Festival, an event where magic and the spirit of togetherness unfold. Come and join us in this amazing experience.

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About Washington Sky Lantern Festival

As part of the popular Night Light events, the Washington Sky Lantern Festival stands as a symbol of unity and collective aspiration. It is a day-long fiesta, brimming with joyous activities and the cheerful sounds of laughter and music. The festival grounds come alive with an array of games and live performances that set the stage for the evening’s main event.

As dusk approaches, the atmosphere is charged with anticipation and a deep sense of camaraderie. The release of the lanterns, a spectacle of light against the darkening sky, embodies the festival’s core themes of love, peace, and hope. It’s a moment where time seems to stand still, and the sky becomes a canvas for the shared dreams of thousands.

The culmination of the day’s festivities in the lantern release creates an unforgettable experience that lingers in the memory. It’s more than just an event; it’s a celebration of life’s most cherished values. The Washington Sky Lantern Festival truly captures the essence of community and the transformative power of light.

Festival Dates (2024)

Circle May 11, 2024, on your calendars for a magical evening you won’t want to miss. The breathtaking Washington Sky Lantern Festival is happening on a Saturday, making it the ideal weekend escape. From sunrise to starlight, the day will be packed with joy and music, culminating in a mesmerizing lantern-lit sky. This is definitely a gathering that promises to light up not just the sky but also the heart.

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An image inspired by the breathtaking beauty of the Washington Sky Lantern Festival

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The lantern festival is set to illuminate the night at Stateline Speedway, a renowned venue located just 30 minutes east of Spokane, Washington, and on the outskirts of Post Falls, Idaho. Nestled at 1349 N Beck Rd, Post Falls, ID 83854, this location offers the perfect backdrop for an evening filled with light and warmth.

The nearest airport to the festival site is the Spokane International Airport, which is approximately a 35-minute drive away. For visitors flying in, there are several convenient transportation options available:

  • Rental Car: A variety of rental car services are available at the airport, offering flexibility for visitors to explore the region at their own pace.
  • Taxi Service: Taxis are readily available at the airport, providing direct and hassle-free travel to the festival.
  • Ride-Sharing: Services such as Uber and Lyft operate in the area, offering a convenient and often cost-effective way to reach the Speedway.

For those considering a scenic route by train, here are detailed guidelines to reach the festival location from major cities:

  • From Seattle: Take the Amtrak Empire Builder train to Spokane Station. From Spokane, you can rent a car or use a taxi service to cover the 30-minute journey east to Stateline Speedway.
  • From Portland: Board the Amtrak Empire Builder in Portland and disembark in Spokane. Similar to travelers from Seattle, the final leg to the festival can be completed by car rental or taxi.
  • From Chicago: The Amtrak Empire Builder also connects Chicago to Spokane, offering a picturesque cross-country journey. Upon arrival in Spokane, the remaining distance to the festival site can be navigated by renting a car or catching a taxi.

If you liked this lantern festival, here are other breathtaking lantern festivals you should check out:

Pennsylvania Sky Lantern Festival

Pingxi Lantern Festival

Festival Hours

The festival begins at 4:00 PM, welcoming attendees into an afternoon and evening filled with festivities and fun. As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, the event reaches its peak, with the highly-anticipated lantern release painting the night sky until the closing hour at 10:00 PM

The Washington Sky Lantern Festival’s six-hour celebration offers a perfect blend of activities, music, and the mesmerizing display of lanterns in the sky. Make every moment count in this time-bound journey of light and laughter.

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

The Washington Sky Lantern Festival adopts a dynamic pricing strategy, where tickets become pricier as the event date approaches. Initially available 12 weeks prior, the “Super Early Bird” pricing offers the most economical option for early planners. This tiered system encourages early purchases, ensuring attendees can secure their spots at the best possible rate.

Each ticket, priced between $64 and $74 at regular rates, unlocks a day full of festivity and wonder. Beyond entry, it covers live musical acts, a variety of activities, and the highlight – the release of sky lanterns. It’s an all-inclusive pass to a day that promises unforgettable moments under the glow of lantern-lit skies.

For the latest updates on ticket prices, visit the festival’s official website and social media channels. 

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An image inspired by the Washington Sky Lantern Festival

Weather and What to Wear

In May, the weather at the festival location near Post Falls, Idaho, typically offers mild and pleasant conditions, ideal for outdoor events like the lantern festival. Daytime temperatures usually hover around the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 18°C to 22°C), while evenings can be cooler, with temperatures occasionally dipping into the high 40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (around 9°C to 11°C). This gentle transition from a comfortable warmth to a cooler evening sets the perfect stage for the lantern release under the stars.

To ensure a comfortable experience at the lantern festival, here are some clothing recommendations:

  • Light layers: A combination of t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, and light sweaters or jackets allows for easy adjustment to the changing temperatures throughout the event.
  • Comfortable footwear: Opt for shoes suitable for walking and standing for extended periods, as you’ll likely be moving around the festival grounds.
  • A warm jacket or coat: Essential for the cooler evening hours, especially when the sun sets and the main event begins.
  • A hat and sunglasses: These will come in handy during the earlier, sunnier parts of the event to protect against sun exposure.
  • A light scarf or shawl: Perfect for adding an extra layer of warmth as the evening cools down.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After a mesmerizing evening at the lantern festival, finding a comfortable place to rest is essential. Here are some nearby hotel options, each offering its own set of amenities to ensure a pleasant stay:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Spokane City Center

  • Location: 322 N Spokane Falls Ct, Spokane, WA 99201, United States
  • Description: This 3-star, pet-friendly hotel is conveniently located in Spokane’s city center, offering easy access to local attractions.
  • Amenities: Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and the signature warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in.

Apple Tree Inn Spokane

  • Location: 9508 N Division St #1201, Spokane, WA 99218, United States
  • Description: A budget-friendly 2-star hotel that provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere for travelers.
  • Amenities: The hotel offers free parking, complimentary breakfast, and an outdoor pool, making it a great value option.

The Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection

  • Location: 333 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201, United States
  • Description: This 4-star hotel brings a touch of luxury with its modern design and prime location near Spokane’s main attractions.
  • Amenities: Guests can take advantage of free Wi-Fi, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an on-site restaurant serving exquisite dishes.

Where to Eat

Discovering the local cuisine is a delightful way to complement your festival experience. Here are some notable dining spots in the area, each offering unique flavors and atmospheres:


  • Location: 621 W Mallon Ave, Spokane, WA 99201, United States
  • Description: An iconic American steakhouse that has been serving guests since 1974, Clinkerdagger boasts a charming old-school ambiance with stunning views over the Spokane River.
  • Foods Served: The menu features classics such as grilled chicken cobb, char-grilled filet mignon, and beer-battered fish and chips, among other hearty dishes.

The Gilded Unicorn

  • Location: 110 South N Monroe St, Spokane, WA 99201, United States
  • Description: This New American restaurant offers a cozy, casual dining experience in a setting that combines rustic brick and wood elements.
  • Foods Served: Patrons can enjoy a range of comfort foods, including burgers, steaks, and a selection of happy hour specials, all within a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Wild Sage Bistro

  • Location: 916 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201, United States
  • Description: A fine dining establishment known for its commitment to quality and creativity, Wild Sage Bistro offers a menu that caters to a variety of dietary preferences, including vegan options.
  • Foods Served: The bistro’s offerings include innovative dishes such as crisp bacon and blue, pork tenderloin au poivre, and sweet chili glazed tofu, each prepared with a focus on flavor and presentation.

More Things to Do in the Area

Beyond the lantern festival, the area offers a plethora of activities and attractions to explore. Here are a few highlights that promise to enrich your visit:

Riverfront Park

  • Location: 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201, United States
  • Description: Known as Riverfront Spokane, this expansive urban park sits in the heart of downtown Spokane, offering a green oasis amidst the cityscape.
  • Activities to Explore: Visitors can enjoy scenic walks, interactive sculptures, a historic carousel, and seasonal events, making it a vibrant hub for both leisure and entertainment.

Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

  • Location: 2316 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA 99201, United States
  • Description: This history museum is a treasure trove of the Inland Northwest’s heritage, showcasing a diverse mix of regional history, art, and culture through its extensive exhibits.
  • Activities to Explore: Explore a variety of exhibits ranging from Native American heritage to contemporary art installations, along with engaging educational programs and cultural events.

Spokane Falls

  • Location: Waterfall in Washington State
  • Description: Spokane Falls is a stunning natural feature within the urban area, offering breathtaking views of the powerful water cascade right in the heart of the city.
  • Activities to Explore: Visitors can take in the falls from various vantage points, walk across the suspension bridge for closer views, or enjoy a gondola ride over the roaring waters for a memorable experience.

An Illuminating Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to the Washington Sky Lantern Festival

The Washington Sky Lantern Festival is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of unity, hope, and beauty that lights up the night sky. Set against the scenic backdrop of Stateline Speedway, it promises an evening where dreams take flight amidst a sea of glowing lanterns. 

Beyond the festival, the Spokane area offers a wealth of activities, from serene parks to cultural museums, ensuring a memorable stay for all. It’s an experience that captures the heart, leaving a lasting glow of joy and wonder.


Is there parking available at the festival?

Yes, there is parking available at Stateline Speedway for festival attendees. It’s advisable to arrive early to secure a spot, as spaces can fill up quickly due to the event’s popularity.

Can I bring my own lantern to the festival?

Attendees are encouraged to use the lanterns provided by the festival organizers to ensure they are biodegradable and safe for the environment. Bringing your own lantern may not be permitted.

Are pets allowed at the Washington Sky Lantern Festival?

Pets are generally not allowed at the festival for safety and comfort reasons, especially considering the large crowds and the nature of the event. Service animals, however, are typically permitted.

Is smoking allowed at the festival?

Smoking, including e-cigarettes and vapes, is usually prohibited at the festival to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all attendees, particularly due to the presence of lanterns.

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

If you lose an item, head to the designated Lost & Found area or contact a festival staff member for assistance. It’s also helpful to check in after the event for any items that may have been turned in.

Are there food and drinks available at the festival?

Yes, the festival typically features a variety of food vendors offering a range of culinary options. 

Attendees can enjoy everything from snacks to full meals, alongside a selection of beverages.

Can children attend the festival?

Children are welcome at the Washington Sky Lantern Festival, making it a fantastic event for families. There may even be specific activities designed for younger attendees.

What happens in case of bad weather?

The festival usually goes ahead rain or shine. In the event of severe weather conditions that could affect the safety of attendees, the festival may be postponed or canceled, with information communicated through official channels.

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An image inspired by the Washington Sky Lantern Festival




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