By Caitlyn Nelson
The Water Lantern Festival struck the hearts of its guests in Crestline California on Oct. 1 by allowing them to release personalized lanterns which lit up the water at Lake Gregory Regional Park.
Family and friends gathered around the lake with lawn chairs and blankets to pay tribute to loved ones that passed away, set personalized intentions and goals into the world and take a moment to value life.
Event goers received a drawstring bag that contained supplies to build and decorate their own lanterns, a deck of playing cards and another set of cards to get a conversation started between the guests.
“This is a very emotional and positive experience where you can set your intentions into the light and manifest your intentions into the world,” said Karla Oropeza, a local and first time attendee. “I would come back because it is very emotional and I get to spend time with my daughter.”
The festival did not only focus on the water lanterns, but had various entertainment, food and vendors.
The vendors consisted of Wrightwood Rocks, Wears The Mountain, Lil Be and Juless Vanities. Each selling blankets, apparel and handcrafted jewelry, vanities, and tumbler cups.
Food vendors such as Tortas Las Jarochitas, Butchers Choice, Rio 2 soft serve ice cream, Wetzel’s Pretzels and Savor The Time, provided guests with different options to indulge in.
Musical guest Crimson Skye sang and played her guitar overlooking the crowd of people sitting by the water.
The Water Lantern Festival originated from Utah in 2018. Lake Gregory Regional Park was one of the first locations they put on this event during that time. Since then the company has greatly expanded and is now putting on events all over the nation.
“Our biggest goal is that everyone has a unique and fun experience and to bring people from all over to this event,” event coordinator Sam Bakker said.
This event also partakes in giving to different causes. 10% of ticket sales are donated to Water.org; a global nonprofit organization that provides water and sanitation to the world. Along with this, the event at Lake Gregory was sponsored by “Be The Match”; an organization that helps individuals with various life-threatening blood cancers to get transplants worldwide.
The reginal park is under the new management of the Lake Gregory Company, as of 2020. Marissa Maxcy, office manager of the Lake Gregory Company has been supporting The Water Lantern Festival for three years now.
“The Water Lantern Festival has been here before the company started managing the lake,” Maxcy Said. “The coordinator reached out and I said it would be a great opportunity for locals and guests to enjoy the beautiful lake on our mountain.”
The Lake Gregory Company is proud to support such an inclusive event.
“I feel fortunate to be able to participate and witness people of all different walks of life coming together and enjoying the event,” Maxcy said.