The Lights Fest: Ottawa, ON

Many months ago I decided to buy an early bird ticket to this Lights Festival I saw advertised online. It looked incredible in the photos and I saw it as an opportunity to have an inexpensive (only cost me $25.00 CAD per ticket), different and romantic night out. It was an incredible experience.

Getting There
The Lights Festival in Ottawa was expecting over 5,000 participants (wow!), so as you can imagine there was quite a bit of traffic build up. We were supposed to arrive before 6:00pm, but due to the traffic we did not get into the festival until nearly 7pm! Regardless, we were able to find a great parking spot and still had time to find a great spot on the grass to sit and listen to some live music.

The Festival
The atmosphere was incredible. There were so many people of all ages sitting either on blankets on the grass or in their chairs. There were tiki torches all over the place to light the place up even in the dark. Everyone was given one lantern each and you were given a little marker too so you could decorate it or write something sentimental on it. Some people dedicated the lantern to their lost loved ones while others decided to write a wish or simply draw a picture.

While everyone was decorating their lanterns there were some live local talents playing on the stage. The music was really good and occasionally they would have some small contests for prizes like t-shirts.

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Lighting The Lanterns
It takes two people to light a lantern due to their size, so basically Marco was on one side and I was on the other. We brought the lantern over to the tiki torch to light it up. You need to hold the lantern close to the ground for a few seconds so the hot air gets trapped inside, and then you let it go! It’s quite a quick process, actually, and we didn’t get the photos we were 100% expecting to get but we still made some great memories!

It was quite magical to see 5,000+ lanterns float up into the night sky. They played music as this happened and just so happened to be one of my favourite songs – Hallelujah – I cried a little bit (tears of joy!). It was absolutely breathtaking, words cannot even describe it.

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They actually do these festivals all over the place (primarily Canada and the US I believe). You can check them out here: and see if they are coming to a town near you. I would highly recommend it. Have you been to a Lights Festival before? What were your thoughts? Drop us a comment below – we would love to hear from you!