Get your shine on at these three lantern festivals

Water Lantern 3
Photo courtesy of Water Lantern Festival
Thousands of lanterns decorated with drawings and messages float into the night during the Water Lantern Festival.

This spring, Sacramento will be aglow with a trio of lantern festivals (making one of our wishes come true). Here are three ways you can light up the night around town. 

I Street Bridge Lantern Festival

March 23 The cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento will host a lantern walk across the I Street Bridge to spread the word about the historic span's upcoming transformation into a pedestrian- and cyclist-only crossing. The Sacramento Mandarins drum line and Teng Fei Lion Dance team will perform after leading participants and their lanterns on a trek over the bridge, where folks can learn about the urban design project via interactive boards and write thoughts and opinions). Tip: Arrive early, as only 200 LED-lit lanterns will be doled out (the decorating session starts at 6 p.m.). Free. 7-9 p.m. 201 C St.

Decorated lanterns hang on trellises to create an interactive light artwork at the Lantern Street Festival. (Photo courtesy of Lantern Street Festival)

Lantern Street Festival

April 6 This festival debuted in Ventura in February and will make its Sacramento premiere next month. Unlike other lantern festivals, where your lantern floats into the air or on the water, Lantern Street Festival gives each participant one eco-friendly LED-lit paper and bamboo Chinese hanging lantern—which you can spruce up with colorful markers at one of 20 decorating stations—to display on one of a handful of trellises erected around the grounds, creating an interactive art installation. $27. 6-11 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m.) Fremont Park. 1515 Q St.

Water Lantern Festival hosts events throughout the country, from Buffalo, New York, to Detroit, Michigan, and Austin, Texas. (Photo courtesy of Water Lantern Festival)

Water Lantern Festival

May 4 There will be a sea of lights—nearly literally—when thousands of paper lanterns cover a lake in Elverta, north of Natomas. (The festival made its regional debut last year in Granite Bay, and has lit up other cities from Buffalo, New York, to Las Vegas.) Upon entry, you’ll receive a biodegradable rice paper lantern with a floatable wooden base, a battery-powered tea light, and a marker with which to decorate your lantern. $40 ($30 in advance). Gates open at 5:30 p.m. 8556 Gibson Ranch Rd. Elverta.

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