The Lights Festival DMV will be a massive, family-friendly festival featuring food, drink, and live music. It's happening at the Mason Dixon Fairgrounds in York County, PA.

The Lights Festival is traveling across the East Coast, bringing together thousands of friends and families. This festival is sure to make great memories, as goers literally light up the night with their own wishes, hopes, and goals. The Lights Festival's last installment is marketed to residents of Washington, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and is happening at the Mason Dixon Fairgrounds, August 19, from 5 to 9 p.m. The Lights Festival Once you arrive and check in, you'll be given a lantern, a bag of Lights Fest swag, a flash light, and a marker. Once the sun starts to set, the fun begins as live bands play and local artists perform or present their work. There are also activities for kids, like face-painting and bouncy houses. After dark, the lantern lighting begins. Festival organizers will provide attendees with specific instructions on how to safely open and light the lanterns. The most important part of the ceremony is the customization of the message on the lantern; attendees are encouraged to use their marker to inscribe their lantern with a wish or a message of hope they'd like to see manifested in the world. Organizers stress that the launch is 100 percent contingent on the permissions of local fire authorities, as the lanterns do really use fire; and thus, they stress that the lanterns not be lit or released until the official signal is given.

How it Works:

There are a lot of questions posed about the safety and sustainability of The Lights Festival. While some similar lanterns will fly up to high altitudes or travel for many miles, The Lights Fest uses non-standard, customized lanterns that stay in the air for a short period of time; these specifies lanterns are designed to ensure that they will land within the venue for easy retrieval. The Lights Festival says it values safety above anything else, writing on their website:
We will never produce or take part in any event without the help of the local fire marshal and fire department. Wind Factors: The Lights Festival will not authorize the launch of lanterns if wind speeds exceed 15 miles-per-hour. If wind speeds don’t reduce, The Lights Festival will cancel the Launch and reschedule it for a different date and time... The Lights Fest is dedicated to the safety of the environment and everyone who attends the event. For this reason, we require the following:
  • All participants must sign a waiver, and agree to all rules and regulations.
  • No outside lanterns will be allowed in the event space.
    • The Lights Fest has created biodegradable lanterns with a limited burn time and flame retardant. Without these characteristics, prohibited lanterns can pose a fire hazard to surrounding areas.
  • No launching lanterns before the authorized time. Those unable to abide by this rule will be asked to leave and can be ticketed by the local police and fire department.
  • No alcohol will be permitted at the event.
  • No outside weapons or harmful materials will be allowed in The Lights Festival area."
Furthermore, the lanterns are made from non-flammable and 100 percent biodegradable materials, aiding in the protection of participants and the environment. In fact, protecting the environment is a huge part of their message, and the entire festival operates on a strict "Leave No Trace" policy, meaning attendees and employees will leave the venue exactly as it was before the festival. Check out the event's Facebook page, or their website for more information! The Lights Fest is a ticketed event, so be sure to buy tickets ahead of time! Are you planning to attend? Let us know in the comments below!

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