The second annual Lights Festival at Grand Bend Speedway will be held Saturday September 23, 2023. Many participants use the lantern release as a way to honor lost loved ones. Some write on their lanterns a list of hopes and dreams, while others will use it as a way of letting go of things from the past. Others come just to enjoy the experience of the breathtaking sight of lighting the sky with thousands of lanterns!
Some wonder what the effects are on the environment. The lanterns are safe and 100% biodegradable. They’re made from rice paper, string, and bamboo – with NO metal wire. These lanterns are very different from the generic ones anyone can buy online. The unique design has a very short burn time. The rice-paper body of the lantern is fire-resistant, to prevent the flame from travelling from the small fuel source suspended in the middle. The fuel source was designed to completely burn out before the lantern begins to descend. As a result of the short burn time, the lanterns do not travel far, and a clean-up crew gathers 100% of the lanterns within 24-48 hours after the event.
“The Lights Fest is dedicated to leaving a positive impact on everyone who attends our event. We are also dedicated to leaving a positive impact on the environment. We have a dedicated cleanup crew, waiting in the landing zone, whose focus is collecting lanterns after the event. All events are strategically located outside of populated areas where there is open space. We’ve engineered our lanterns for low ight and landing-site predictability. After the event, we have a large cleaning crew, picking up the lanterns. Our lanterns are 100% biodegradable, so in the rare chance that we miss one, they are designed to quickly disintegrate. Our “Leave No Trace Policy” allows us to make sure that our venues look the same after we leave as they did before we arrived.”
Collin Maki, Director of Events Operation for THE LIGHTS FEST with Viive Productions of Utah, initially contacted Grand Bend Speedway in August 2022. After learning what The Lights Fest was about, it was felt that Grand Bend Speedway could safely host this festival for first time, October 15th, 2022. Thanks go the South Huron Township, Fire Department and O.P.P. who have again, in 2023, ensured all zoning designations, safety protocols, and necessary approvals have been met. The South Huron Fire Department will be on site when the lanterns are released, as per The Lights Fest protocol.
In 2022 about 2000 people came out to participate and enjoy the festival. The second annual Lights Fest is set to be even bigger with 3500+people, local musicians, vendors and much more. A large stage will be at the central focus with hundreds of tiki lanterns spread though out the gathering field. After the sun goes down, it will be time to light up the sky with the lanterns. Collin Maki, who has been organizing these festivals for over 9 years, commented, “We do these events to bring healing and the community together. Our goal is to maintain long-term relationships with our venue and property partners so that we can return year after year to put on our festivals for the local communities.” Grand Bend Speedway is looking forward to hosting this annual event once again.
The Municipality of South Huron has been provided written notice of the event as they require.
For more information or to purchase tickets go to: www.thelightsfest.com