10,000 Attend Feast Of Lanterns Show

Attributed to being one of the few free fireworks shows in the state, I say it’s the bellydancers.

Although it might seem confusing to an outsider, being the queen — or one of her six princesses who make up the Royal Court — is a big deal in America’s Last Hometown.

The Royal Court is selected by a committee of local business people, former Royal Court members and nonprofit board members. Although the festival held a swimsuit contest in the 1930s, middle and high school students in Pacific Grove are now selected for excelling academically and how active they are in community service and after-school activities.

10,000 Attend Feast Of Lanterns Show

KSBW Moves Feast Of Lanterns To Florida

With Princess Miami, Princess Tampa, Princess Tallahassee, Princess Orlando. The story changes to Princess Jacksonville and Prince Ft. Lauderdale escaping on an airboat and turning into alligators.

KSBW Moves Feast Of Lanterns To Florida


PACIFIC GROVE, Fla. —The annual Feast of Lanterns festival lit up Lover’s Point Park in Pacific Grove Saturday night.

People packed beach as colors filled the sky as 105-year-old Pacific Grove tradition continues.

The event celebrates a Chinese legend called the “Blue Willow,” a story about a princess’ forbidden love. The ceremony at Lover’s Point re-enacts the story, and for the grand finale the lovers flee together and turn into monarch butterflies, cuing the fireworks show out over the Monterey Bay.

KSBW Moves Feast Of Lanterns To Florida

Feast Of Lanterns Keeping Secrets?

There were fireworks of course, but the first rule of Feast Of Lanterns is you don’t mention the fireworks.

Second rule is don’t hang the Feast Of Lanterns banners from the streetlights.
Taken July 27:
no fol banner

The Mon Sori percussionists, a group of local people with Korean heritage, were just one of many attractions at the Feast of Lanterns, which drew more than 1,000 people by 2 p.m.

Although the lantern-adorned vessels and fireworks gathered bigger crowds later in the day, afternoon crowds could not seem to stay away from the Chinese-inspired event.

Music constantly played as the smell of burnt food filled the air, children ran in the water and made sandcastles, impromptu volleyball games were constant, inflatable bounce houses wore out the kids and a bashful sun kept the temperature around 65 degrees.

“The nice thing is the whole city does something,” said Virginia Coleman, a longtime volunteer.

The event was first held in 1905 but did not become an annual festival until 1957. Coleman said she and her husband understand the appeal, having been involved since 1985.

Feast Of Lanterns Keeping Secrets?

Fire Up The Feast Week, Pt 3

The 2011 edition of the 54-year-old city festival concluded Saturday at Lovers Point, where sugar-buzzed kids sampled each of the aforementioned attractions all day. Then they snuggled with their parents in the evening to celebrate the crowning of Queen Topaz and marvel at lantern-adorned vessels on Monterey Bay and fireworks exploding over the water.

“This was always a big thing to do when I was little, even though they didn’t have bounce houses and bubble machines in those days,” said Rick Martin, a former Monterey Peninsula resident who drove from Santa Clara to enjoy the event. “My family came every year to see the boats all lit up and the fireworks over the water. Those are great memories for me, even now, which is why I try to come back every couple of years.”

Rick has it about right. The Feast is a good time to reconnect if you have been away.

Last year’s excuse for a Feast was not what makes memories.

The entire day at the beach
Beach Feast Of Lanterns

Free live entertainment
Bryan Diamond Feast Of Lanterns

No fire of this kind. Though the free entertainment mentions other smokes
Smok Smok Feast Of Lanterns
Return of this kind of fire is welcome
Fireworks Feast Of Lanterns

Fire Up The Feast Week, Pt 3

Feast Of Lanterns Sideshow Attempts To Salvage Event

Once in a lifetime experience – pay to see the Feast Of Lanterns pageant. Dixie is dreaming.

Feast of Lanterns volunteers have attempted to keep the pageant and performance as close as possible to the traditions that people remember so well from Lovers Point.

“All will be going on as it does on the pier, with a few modifications for the Performing Arts Center,” said Layne. “There is usually a sea dragon in the water and the lighted boat parade. All these elements will be there — we’ve just had to bring in props. We’ve even (simulated) fireworks using lights and streamers. A dozen youths have been added to the performance to create dragons and lighted boats.”.

One cannot duplicate the element of excitement waiting to see if the princess can get into the tiny boat without falling in the water:
FOL pic 2006

Feast Of Lanterns Sideshow Attempts To Salvage Event

Feast Of Lanterns – If Not At The Beach, Never

Well the ticket admission thing in the middle school auditorium does not appear to have worked out well.

July 31 was just another foggy day at the beach this year.
FOL 2010

Feast of Lanterns board president Sue Renz said her phone has been ringing off the hook.

“They will call and say, ‘when are you going to be doing the Feast of Lanterns at the beach with the pageant and the fireworks?’ And I have to say to them, ‘we aren’t doing it there this year,'” said Renz.

For decades, the pageant and fireworks took place at Lover’s Point, but this year it’s moving to the middle school. That means no fireworks, a scaled back show and $20 tickets. There’s room for about 700 people at the middle school theater, but only a dozen tickets have been sold.

Feast Of Lanterns – If Not At The Beach, Never

Not Supporting Feast Of Lanterns, Moe Rewrites History

Ammar & his chamber recreates another “Good Old Days” event at the beach one week after the real Chautauqua celebration of music & food should have been there (but is not this year..). It’s nothing by a money grabbing fleece the tourists from Fresno plot, not a community summer get together. What an insult.

FOL Empty Beach

“It’s a splendid celebration of Pacific Grove’s turn-of-the-century band festivals that livened the entire town,” he said. “The chamber is reviving the party that was first held in 1879 by the California Branch of the Chautauqua Circle.”

In those days, he said, the Chautauqua Circle celebrated with music, food and entertainment at Lovers Point.

What the what? No Belly Dancers?FOL 2002 Belly Dancers

Not Supporting Feast Of Lanterns, Moe Rewrites History

City Bends Over To Political Correctness

Suspicious that this is the reason that the traditional campy Feast Of Lanterns is now held indoors to ticket holders?

Low-Sabado hasn’t forgotten that history, but the city has done little to recognize it. P.G.’s annual Feast of Lanterns replicates Chinese squid-boat lights and adopts a generic Asian theme, but doesn’t acknowledge the Point Alones village – an omission that was the focus of a recent Stanford dissertation.

Low-Sabado takes particular offense to the event’s annual play about a fictional Chinese princess, in which the audience boos the mandarin. (This year’s celebration will be scaled back; organizers cite budgetary reasons.)

Toms Cafe
P.G. Tribune, 1974

City Bends Over To Political Correctness

Feast Of Lanterns Fate Is Sealed (hint: it's 90% canceled)

Destiny being fulfilled. Bankrupt the events that are the heart & soul of what’s fun about P.G. then turn it into some preachy politically correct show that no one really wants to go to. Finally bring it back all sanitized. About as genuine as a Victorian retreat house torn down, re-constructed with zero original material and awarded a historical artifact sign.

Empty FOL beach

But hey, without the cost of putting on the week long summer festival, we can pay for a new website, city slogan and a tourist trolley, right?

There will still be a Queen Topaz and her court, but no fireworks. The pageant will take place in the middle school auditorium, not at the Lovers Point Pier. The festival will run two days, rather than a full week.

“Some events are being dropped,” said Feast of Lanterns president Sue Renz, “and others restructured.”

Feast Of Lanterns Fate Is Sealed (hint: it’s 90% canceled)

Racists Burned Down Chinatown, Celebrate Every Year

“Historian” says Feast Of Lanterns being multicultural is egg-foo-young in the face. Feast of Lanterns does an about face and plays down the whole multicultural thing.

They fished for squid using lighted boats on moonless nights, Lydon said. The lights of the boats on the bay were a tourist attraction, “like Christmas decorations on the ocean.”

Those lighted boats may well have inspired Pacific Grove’s annual Feast of Lanterns at Lovers Point, where an ersatz Chinese pageant is re-enacted.

Racists Burned Down Chinatown, Celebrate Every Year