Thursday, July 12, 6:00 pm -9:00 pm (rain date Thursday, July 19) – 14th Annual Lantern Festival

Join The Friends of Forest Hills Educational Trust on Thursday, July 12 from 6 – 9 pm (rain date Thursday, July 19) for a moving memorial ceremony inspired by Buddhist rituals. Inscribe a lantern with a personal message to friends or family and float it across Lake Hibiscus at sunset. Bring a family picnic.  Enjoy Grand Master Tsuji’s Samurai Taiko drummers, gospel music by Ron Murphy, Irish music by guitar/fiddle duo The Whiskey Boys, and traditional Japanese dance by students of Showa Institute. Photo below by JM Lobert at

In this breathtaking ceremony of remembrance, visitors to this lush, Victorian landscape make paper lanterns and set them afloat on the peaceful waters of a small lake. This ritual is based on the traditional Japanese Bon Festival, a time when a door opens to the world of the ancestors, allowing us to send messages to the other side. People enjoy picnics on the grass and a multi-cultural program of music and dance. They decorate their lanterns with calligraphy and notes to those who have died. At sunset, a candle is lit in each lantern, and the glimmering lanterns are set afloat. Drifting and flickering with the wind, the lanterns symbolize the soul’s journey when life ends.  Admission is free, with a $10 donation per lantern. Parking is $10, and people are encouraged to take the T.  No lighting after dark, so bring a flashlight to assist your departure.  For more information, log on to