People in El Paso will have the opportunity to experience a decades-old Japanese tradition of lighting a lantern and setting it off to sail in the waters of Ascarate Lake this weekend.

The One World Water Lantern Festival will kick off their 2018 tour in El Paso on March 31 at 4:30 p.m. The festival brings people together from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life, for a magical night of music, food, and the most awe-inspiring sight as floating lanterns light up the water. Each participant is provided a lantern and a marker upon arrival to the festival. The marker allows you to write a message on the lantern before it is sent into the water. The messages can be anything participants want to write.

“This Water Lantern Festival provides a way to share your hopes, dreams, and aspirations,” said Nick
Menendez, One World Water Lantern Festival Event Director.


In Japan, the annual ceremony is performed at the Bon Festival, where the activity is believed to guide the souls of the departed. In El Paso, the evening will be about sharing positive energy, spreading love and kindness, and finding comfort and strength.

“It’s a great opportunity to reflect on your life, share your dreams, and connect with your friends and family,” read an event announcement.

The lanterns will be released at sundown. There will also be live performances by local native groups, food trucks, music, and giveaways.

Tickets to the event are $30 per person before March 30 and go up to $35 on Saturday. Tickets will be sold at the gate, as long as supplies last and may be purchased at Ascarate lake is located at 6900 Delta Dr. There will be a $5 charge per vehicle after 1 pm and $1 per person walking/running or on a bicycle.

“It’s honestly a night that you will never forget,” said Menendez.

El Paso 411 🏮