A sea of twinkling lights drifting across the horizon — a beauty that no words can truly describe. If you're looking for events in Sarasota this October a breathtaking floating lantern festival will be lighting up the night with its stunning sight.

The water lantern fest will take over Nathan Benderson Park on Saturday, October 12th, offering a day full of culture, celebration, fun, food, and light. 

Multiple food trucks will be on-site serving up your typical festival fare — both savory and sweet. You'll also have a chance to participate in fun games and activities, as well as shop for goodies from vendors. Don't forget the toe-tappin' tunes thumpin' throughout the entire day.

The gates will open at 4 p.m., with lantern release starting at 7:30 p.m. and running until 8:30. Before you can release your lantern, you've got to personalize it of course! Put your intention of hope, peace, unity, goodwill or whatever you're feeling in the moment; releasing your work of art into the sunset.

Bring extra colors to really make your lantern extra perfect!

With concern for our fragile ecosystems, each lantern is 100% eco-friendly, made with rice paper and wood; at the end of the event, staff work to clean lanterns from the waterway, using a buoy system that catches them and contains them at the end of the canal for easy removal. The festival ends at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $25 until September 28th, $30 until Sept, 30th, $35 until Oct. 4th, or $40 day of. The ticket price includes your lantern & a marker for decorating, a wristband, a commemorative drawstring bag, and covers the cost of clean up post-festival. A date night 2-ticket deal is also available offering 10% off and a mandala throw blanket.

A day full of fun activities and music topped off with a dazzling display of dancing, twinkling lanterns — what a beautiful way to spend a Saturday in October. An overview of the event's details can be seen below.

If you're looking for more fun Florida Fests, a free mac n cheese festival will take over SunWest Park next month — they even have an adult-friendly inflatable water park there on the weekends. SunWest will also have a 3-day seafood festival in 2020 and if you go on Friday admission is free!

Sarasota Water Lantern Festival

Price: $25 until 9/28, $30 until 9/30, $35 until 10/04, or $40 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online here.

When: Saturday, Oct. 5th, 2019 — 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Address: Nathan Benderson Park — 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle Sarasota, FL 34235

Why You Need To Go: Decorate your own lantern, enjoy music, fun, and food trucks, then release your beautiful lantern for a stunning spectacle of light dancing across the water.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


There are stories everywhere! If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityUSA on Facebook and Instagram.


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