One of my favourite things about summer is all the events that go on. Last night was Public Dreams’ annual Illuminares Lantern Festival. I’ve been meaning to go to this for years, but never got around to it. This year, they moved venues to Canada Place, which is pretty handy to home, so we decided to make the trip.
The concept is quite cool. People make their own lanterns and then come hang out at the festival. Then at about nine, when it starts to get dark, they all light their lanterns and follow some drummers (and I think there was a tuba) in a procession around town.
The festival itself was quite neat. There were musicians, jugglers, bands, a light box that projected people’s shadows onto the sails of Canada place, a facepainter, virtual graffiti, a pedal-operated train car, giant jenga (which was hilarious to watch, as apparently none of the people playing had ever played jenga before. Also, once kids got involved, the whole thing just became a game of “let’s make a fort.”) and folks randomly dressed up or wearing masks. I gather there was also a flash mob, which I am devastated to say I missed.
It was really great to see so many people out and having a good time. I loved seeing all the lanterns as well. Apparently, there were workshops going on all over town for people to learn techniques to make their own. I did not find out about that until too late, though, so I was sadly lanternless myself, but it was great to see what people had made. Some of them went to a lot of effort.
Such a great event. I do have a soft spot for things that bring people out to experience positive things together. I tend to think it’s the only real way to build a community when you live in a big city.