Fort Worth Water Lantern Festival tradition uplifts spirits

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Patrons enjoy watching their creations float in the river Saturday, April 16, 2022 in Fort Worth, TX. (Photo: Derek Lytle)

By Derek Lytle

The Fort Worth Water Lantern Festival this past Saturday lit the Trinity River and event-goers aglow.

The event kicked off in the early evening and featured live music from local artists. It was free to walk through, but only those who purchased a ticket or ticket package were able to participate in the activities. Each event ticket priced around $25 to $35 came with a tote bag, commemorative blanket and a lantern kit.

Guests were encouraged to write or draw on all four sides of the lantern paper. Patrons who had purchased a ticket were a mix of locals and visitors from states across the country such as Georgia, Colorado and California. The Water Lantern Festival made for a treat for those visiting Fort Worth for the Easter weekend.

Food trucks and small businesses added to the festivities. From the Sleepy Sloth Bakery based out of El Paso to the local pizza truck Brick by Brick, many were excited to showcase their creations at the festival.

“When everything slowed down due to COVID-19, it was hard for us as we were only able to do local events in El Paso,” said Angel Revae Clark and Terrance Dwayne White, owners of the Sleepy Sloth Bakery. “Now that everything is opening back up, we provide more services statewide and help more people in the community with our products.”

After event-goers decorated their lanterns and walked around the vendor booths, it was time to launch the glowing lanterns into the river. The array of colors and personal stories that began floating into the Trinity River created a beautiful scene. Some attendees shared stories of overcoming cancer, remembering loved ones or trying to uplift one another with motivational quotes.

To lessen the environmental impact of the festival, event organizers set up a barrier within the river to properly collect and dispose of the trash from the lanterns at the end of the event.

Whether it was their stories of beating cancer or remarks honoring loved ones and each other, the individuals who participated in the Water Lantern Festival are what made this an event to remember.