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Lanterns will cast glow across Trinity River as part of annual downtown Fort Worth festival

 A boy pushes his lantern into the river with a stick. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)
Cristian ArguetaSoto
Fort Worth Report
A boy pushes his lantern into the river with a stick.

For some, Fort Worth’s Water Lantern Festival can be overwhelming.

“It can get pretty emotional,” said Hayden Earl, a Water Festival community outreach coordinator.

Earl has seen people use these festivals as a way to celebrate or grieve about aspects of their lives.

The third annual festival will be June 24, when the Trinity River will be aglow.

Fort Worthians will release LED-lit lanterns during the annual Water Lantern Festival starting at 6 p.m. Saturday near Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey St.

Around 8:30 p.m., attendees will begin designing their lanterns and then hold a group meditation. They will release the lanterns into the water around 9 p.m.

A select few will go up in front of attendees and share the meaning behind their lanterns. The lanterns can represent a new chapter in life, a dead family member or friend or something else that is unique to that person, Earl said.

Attendees will receive a goodie bag containing playing and conversation cards to encourage people to socialize with each other.

Several food trucks will be at the event. However, attendees may bring their own food.

The festival also will feature live musical performances.

Lanterns are made out of rice paper and wood in an effort to be more environmentally friendly, officials said.

All profits from the event are donated to, a global nonprofit organization that wants to ensure access to safe water and sanitation for people.

“Go with an intention, a good attitude, and you will have the time of your life,” Earl said.

Fort Worth Report

Cost: Ticket prices for the festival vary. You can buy tickets here.

Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Juan Salinas II previously worked at the Fort Worth Report as a reporting fellow. He is a Tarrant County College transfer student who is currently studying journalism at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was born and raised in the North Side of Fort Worth. He hopes for an opportunity to do meaningful news coverage during his time at KERA.