The Lights Fest Travel Guide

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Hello Lovely Readers!

One thing on my life bucket list has been to experience a light festival. So me and my ladies headed to Willows, CA for the Northern California Lights Festival at the Thunderhill Raceway. I just have one word: MAGICAL!

If you are headed to a lights fest near you, which I hope you have the opportunity to do, I hope you read this post because I’m sharing my experience as well as recommendations that you absolutely need to know.

  • What is The Lights Fest? it’s such a beautiful festival where we spent the day picnicing, soaking up the sun, and enjoying live music. Once the sun set, torches in the field got lit up which is what we use to light thd lanterns. At the designated time, everyone lif their lanterns and released them into the air. It was such a magical moment when all we saw were are hundreds of lanterns lighting up the night sky. We even got to write/draw messages on the lanterns.
  • When should you arrive? We received emails notifying us that doors open at 3. I highly suggest planning ahead of time so you arrive when they open because both the parking lot and the field fill up fast.
  • What should you wear? So if you’re a fashion blogger like me, the outfit is definitely important but I also went prepared. Here are my suggestions:
    • Jeans or light weight pants
    • Comfortable shoes that you don’t mind if they get dirty
    • A sweater or jacket as it does cool down at night during the release of the lanterns
    • A hat to block the sun during the day
  • What should you take? This is a very important…here’s a list of what I recommend taking:
    • A cooler – fill it with water bottles (the more the better), juice, food, snacks (the lines at food trucks or vendors can get very long, take food!)
    • A retractable wagon – this is important because you don’t want to carry everything from the car to the field as it can be quite a long walk.
    • Sunscreen & bug repellant spray – since you’ll be out in the sun all day, protect yourself and wear sunscreen. Also, depending on the climate of that location, bugs and mosquitoes can be a problem so go prepared.
    • Picnic blanket, lawn chairs, shade tent – you’ll be sitting in the field all day & definitely need blankets and folding chairs to sit on. Taking a shade tent is smart too because the sun can get very intense.
    • Mobile phoner chargers – I ALWAYS have one with me and they come in super handy when you are at a festival like this where you can’t charge your phone. And since the actual lantern release happens at night, you want to capture it all. Here are some you can purchase.
  • How do you light a lantern? Ok guys, most people under estimate the difficulty in lighting a lantern & releasing it successfully. I highly suggest at LEAST 2 people, preferably 3-4 working as a team for each lantern. You remove the protective paper layer where the lantern gets lit, have 1 or more people hold the bottom ring, and someone holding the top of the lantern. Hold the lantern against the torch till it lights up. Then I recommend bringing the lantern down closer to the ground while someone still holds the top. This allows for the lantern to fill with air while preventing burning your hands, hair, etc. After a minute or so, the lantern will be ready to release and there you go!
  • Final recommendations:
    • Buy a couple exta lanterns. Successful lighting and releasing them is a bit tricky the first time. Therefore having a couple backups is totally worth it
    • Take lots of water bottles!
    • Go early so you can get a great spot to sit
    • Take some photos, but then enjoy the moment because it truly is a magical night ^_^

XO, Zoha

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