Wishing Lanterns

Paula Schechter |

Light up the night with hopes and dreams.

SAN ANTONIO – Thirty-thousand illuminated lanterns will glisten on the River Walk during the annual Wishing Lanterns event on Saturday, August 24th, 2019. This event honors loved ones and celebrates hopes, dreams, and wishes in the form of casting lanterns into the water. Lanterns contain a floating candle that light-up the night and the heart.

The event was previously held in the winter, including February 2019, but has been permanently moved to the summer for more favorable weather conditions.

This ethereal experience allows participants to personalize lanterns before releasing them into the water. Maggie Thompson, Executive Director of the San Antonio River Walk Association, “People express themselves in ways we could not have imagined. They write on their lanterns to express grief, their aspirations for education, love, health, and harmony in their lives, and the greater good of mankind.”

Participants are urged to arrive early to experience music and dance performances. Admission is free. The lanterns will remain in the water until 10 p.m., allowing guests to enjoy the beauty of the event and its’ meaning.

A unified launch of twenty-thousand lanterns will occur at sunset, 8:00 p.m.

Wishing Lanterns are currently available for online presale at, for $5 each. Lanterns will also be sold at the event, while supplies last, for $5 each. Thompson adds, “We were surprised by the tremendous turnout in the past so we have expanded our footprint for the event, including increased tables for personalizing lanterns and the selling of lanterns.”

A separate area for quick pick-up of presale lanterns will be offered. Presale lanterns unclaimed by 9 p.m. will be launched on the purchaser’s behalf.

If unfavorable weather such as the rain is forecasted, the San Antonio River Walk Association (SARWA) will proceed with the event. In life, we learn to advance with our hopes and dreams despite minor bumps; therefore, the rain will not stop the Wishing Lanterns event.  However, if an unsafe weather condition occurs, such as lighting, the rain will be canceled.

SARWA serves as the event organizer of Wishing Lanterns. SARWA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote, protect, and preserve the San Antonio River Walk. They accomplish this through special events, social media, RIO Magazine, and their website.

For more information, go to

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Event Synopsis:
Wishing Lanterns, 600 E. Market Street, river level, is a meaningful experience of casting hand-held lanterns into the river in honor of loved ones, hopes, dreams, and wishes. Admission is free, and lanterns are $5 each. The event begins at 5 PM with entertainment, lantern sales, decoration stations, and food trucks. All ages are welcome to participate. A unified casting of lanterns occurs at sunset. For more information, visit

River Walk media room:

River Walk website event page:

Facebook event page: