The Colusa County Board of Supervisors will allow Vive Events, a Utah-based entertainment company, to host a family-friendly lantern festival at Eastpark Reservoir this spring, well before fire season makes potentially thousands of the free-floating luminaries hazardous.
Brett Haynes, a representative of the company, said people from all over Northern California are expected to attend the Lights Fest to listen to live music, fill up on food, and share their personal wishes, dreams, and goals, before lighting their sky lanterns and letting them take flight.
“The way that the event works is people come out and light these lanterns at night for all sorts of different reasons,” Haynes said. “Maybe they lost a loved one from cancer, or might be about to lose someone. I’ve seen them lit for many different reasons. It’s a really touching event.”
Vive Entertainment has not officially set the dates for the festival, but is looking to book the last weekend in March or first weekend in April, or both days, when the brush is still somewhat green.
Haynes said the free-floating luminaries, also called Chinese lanterns or paper lanterns, have been customized so that the wick burns completely out before they fall to the ground.
“They float up into the sky but by the time they come back down, the customized wick is not there,” Haynes said. “That is what makes them less hazardous. There will be nothing left but the string, the bamboo, and the paper.”
The company has had no incidences of brush fire or property damage, he said, but fire personnel will be in attendance. The lanterns are also biodegradable, although the company will deploy a cleanup crew the following day to retrieve them.
The lantern festival will include music and dancing, food trucks, children’s activities, and vendor booths.
Thousands are expected to light their lanterns on Tiki torches after sharing personal stories and memories, Haynes said.
“We try to get the (local) community involved in things; the cities and businesses to see what they want to do with the event as well,” he said.
Haynes said the company has held numerous events and they want to make the Lights Fest at Eastpark Reservoir an annual event.
According to the company’s website, tickets for such festivals range from $35 to $65, which includes the lanterns.
Their event in Imperial on March 9 has sold out, but the company is known to cancel or postpone for various reasons, and has a less-than-stellar history of prompt refunds when that occurs, according to complaints to the Better Business Bureau. ■