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Get ready for the ninth annual Polka Dot Dragon Lantern Festival

By Contributor
January 30th, 2024

Initiated by artist Myra Rasmussen in 2014, The Polka Dot Dragon Lantern Festival is an outdoor, community-engaged arts festival showcasing local artists and performers.

This year, there will be an exciting new addition to the festival –a community lantern parade through the downtown core on Friday, February 9th.

The parade will be led by Moving Mosaic Samba Band and will feature the Polka Dot Dragon Lantern Puppet, as well as creations by local artists including jellyfish, octopi, a sea turtle, and more.

Everyone is welcome to bring a lantern and participate in the parade, or to just come and observe.

On Saturday, February 10th, the public is invited to come to Lakeside Park and stroll among the lantern installations and enjoy the ambient performances.

The installations range from shipwrecks to whale skeletons to deep sea vents, and everything in between. If you have made a lantern, bring it to Lakeside to be part of this interactive experience.

The evening will culminate with the debut performance of Baque Zero Graus playing maracatu, and a procession to the beach led by the Polka Dot Dragon Lantern Puppet.

Part of the appeal of this festival is the invitation for everyone to get involved. This year Live-it Earth has created an instructional video on how to make an anglerfish lantern, and supplies can be picked up at the Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest (807 Baker St) for $3.

There are also the traditional jar lantern kits with jellyfish silhouettes available for purchase at Cowan’s for $2.

Please note that nobody is allowed to release lanterns into the water or air (no sky lanterns).

This Lantern Festival is hosted by Polka Dot Dragon Arts Society.

The Polka Dot Dragon Lantern Festival will be a two day event this year — Friday, February 9th, Parade and Saturday, February 10th the Outdoor Gallery, Lakeside Park, from 5-7 p.m. — Photo courtesy Chris Cleland

The festival is free to the public, but donations are welcomed.

Public funding has been less plentiful this year, and in order to keep providing free community arts events in the coming year, the Polka Dot Dragon Arts Society will be hosting a fundraiser, Viva Carnaval! at the Royal at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 23rd.

Along with helping to raise funds, this event is also an opportunity to celebrate carnaval traditions from Latin America and the Caribbean, which are the embodiment of community engaged arts.

The show will start with a showcase of performers from Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago and features traditions such as frevo and maracatu.

This will be followed by a dance party with DJ ViraVira and DJ Dubconscious playing Latin and Caribbean beats. Costumes and masks encouraged.

Entry is $15, and be sure to check out the silent auction with items and gift certificates supplied by local businesses.

Check our webpage for information on Viva Carnaval! lantern workshops, lantern kits, instructional videos, and volunteer opportunities.

Categories: CommunityDaily Dose

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