This was our first time attending Portland’s Floating Lantern Festival and it was beautiful! We didn’t realize how popular the event was until we saw everyone gathered in the park.
We did get there one and a half hours after they had opened which was probably a mistake. The park was filled with people and there were so many lines. The most important line being the line where you got your lantern, which was long. It traveled down a path quite a waze from the main check in tables but it went rather fast!
Although we both paid with the early bird price which was a good $5 dollars off for our admission, it included a drawstring bag, filled materials for our lantern and a scavenger hunt made for you to mingle with the people around you. Being that we came with a group of friends and a tad late we did participate in the scavenger hunt haha 😂
There were a little more than a handful of food vendors which made the lines crazy long! We spent most of our time at the festival waiting to order and then waiting for our food. Crazy part is, they were working as fast as they could given they were working in the middle of a park.
Price wise, the admission was the most expensive but that’s because you’re buying your materials for the lantern. And since it was a park anyone was welcome to come and join. They had glow sticks, wands, headbands, fans, as well as blankets and flower crowns.
Finding an empty place to sit for 4 people was only a little bit of a search but it didn’t take too long. Once we had a spot, we are and decorated as the sun was setting but we finished in time. At first we were waiting for the crowds to dissipate but we realized people weren’t moving because they were enjoying the view.
Tips for next time
- Take a Lyft or Uber, save yourself the stress of parking.
- Arrive when it opens if you want to order there.
- Skip the food lines, eat before or bring your own food and cooler.
- Bring a blanket for the ground and a light jacket for warmth. The wind on the water can be chilly.
- Decorate your lantern when you still have night. They have a schedule try to follow it.
- Have your reference and design ready, because signal can be spotty.
- Find a sitting spot first.
Definitely worth going again, but with a little more planning next time haha