Illuminares Lantern Festival Returns to Trout Lake this Saturday, July 21

Illuminares Lanterns at Trout Lake. Photo: Public Dreams

Since its initial cancellation in 2008, the Illuminares Lantern Festival—formerly one of the most popular summer events in East Van—has been hard to find: It was back at Trout Lake (its original home) in 2009, then moved to Gastown in 2010 and Canada Place in 2011.

This year, the Lantern Festival returns to Trout Lake, buoyed by a huge swell in community support. Haunting and poetic—and fun, too—the Illuminares Lantern Festival, which includes gorgeous lanterns, the traditional processional around the lake, live music, interactive art installations, and a grand finale (a spectacular 30-person fire show by Radiant Heat) is an event that shouldn’t be missed.

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Illuminares Lantern Festival Returns to Trout Lake this Saturday, July 21

Parade of Lost Souls 2011: Secret Souls Walk & Dance Party

For many Vancouverites, the event of the Halloween season in years past was the singular Halloween parade / processional that was the Parade of Lost Souls. Though the event has been scaled back by organizers Public Dreams, there is a new incarnation for 2011: the Secret Souls Walk.

Like the Parade of Lost Souls, the Secret Souls Walk is an eerie, transformative event. This isn’t “sexy” Halloween—there won’t be any slutty cheerleaders here, unless they’re slutty zombie cheerleaders—this is Halloween for people who want to delve into the dark recesses and pagan origins of Halloween, for people who want to haunt.

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Parade of Lost Souls 2011: Secret Souls Walk & Dance Party

Illuminares Lantern Festival at Canada Place – July 30, 2011

Illuminares Lantern Festival. Photo: Public Dreams

If you’re in Vancouver for the long weekend (August 1 is BC Day, a public holiday), you have lots of major, free events to choose from: Along with the first night of the Celebration of Light Fireworks on July 30 and the Vancouver Pride Parade on July 31, this Saturday, July 30, is the Illuminares Lantern Festival at downtown Vancouver’s Canada Place.

Organized by the uber-imaginative Public Dreams, the annual Illuminares Lantern Festival is a series of “glowing handmade lantern processions, performances and fantastical happenings.” Now in its 22nd year, the Lantern Festival has moved from its traditional home at Trout Lake to a stunning new outdoor venue along the seawall at Canada Place.

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Illuminares Lantern Festival at Canada Place – July 30, 2011