Art News

Six Burning Questions — and Answers — About the Lantern Fest

The Lantern Fest will take off from Denver (or the Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, which is close enough) for the first time on April 23. The hot event sold out quickly, but people still have burning questions about how it will all go down. Here are answers to six of those questions.
1. How do I get tickets?
You don't, because the Lantern Fest is sold out for its Colorado run, including one night in Colorado Springs and two nights in Denver. But there are still tickets available for other states' fests, and some are a reasonable drive.

2. How does the lantern lift off?
The lanterns are teeny-tiny hot air balloons that use a minimalist yet brilliant form of engineering that dates back to the third century BCE in China. Lighting the core burner creates enough heat to allow the lanterns to rise off the ground and into the sky. 

3. What happens when the lantern lands? Does it catch grass or brush on fire?
No, because the core will have to be completely out for the lantern to land, fest organizers assure us. Science rules.

Keep reading for more burning questions.
4. Will the lantern decompose?
Yes, the lantern will decompose, down to the wires that hold its frame in place. It is made of 100 percent biodegradable rice paper, bamboo and string. This means that your lantern won't be trash landing on the Earth, and the Lantern Fest team even recovers 99 percent of lanterns after the send-off

5. Why is it in Dacono?

The best location that the Lantern Fest could secure was the Colorado National Speedway in Dacono. The fest chooses space where there will be no threat to the environment, with no high-rises or other obstacles for the lanterns to run into.

6. Does the festival give back?
Yes, Lantern Fest organizers say they will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the tour across the U.S. to Angels of America’s Fallen, "a nonprofit organization whose mission centers on helping children of America’s fallen military and first responders to develop into strong, successful adults."
Find out more at