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Lights Festival at Carleton Place

Couple weekends ago, Nick and I went on a double date with our friends Joanna and Alex to the Lights Festival. The event was held in town of Carleton Place, which really confused me because I thought the event venue was just called "Carleton Place" -- oops!

Town hall on the left



Despite being late September, the heatwave was hitting us full force! Jo dressed for the heat in some of her new threads from our latest shopping trips, so we had a mini-photo shoot by the water.  Loving her Spanish dancer vibes from the red floral skirt!

Top from H&M
Skirt from VV

Shoes from Forever21



We spent an hour or so walking around, Carleton Place is super cute brimming with small town vibes. Many locals have sweet rides but this one really takes the cake!


Resisting all urge to hop in

close up!
Eventually we headed out to the event venue. Traffic was awful as it was a one-lane road to the venue. We got there "late" in the sense that the overall event had started, but they had a band come out to perform and lots of cringe-worthy MC-ing. I wasn't too pleased with the build-up or organization but when the lanterns finally went up and the accompanying music swelled, it was truly a breathtaking sight to behold.





The Lights Festival event visits many different cities and actually went to Toronto the weekend after! My biggest piece of advice would be to definitely go in groups. Everything happened so quickly, I lost my lantern before I could even react. So glad that many cameras were around, perks of dating a photographer :P

lighting the lantern

it's starting to float!

"you're leaving me already??"

"noooo come backk"

Also thankful for friends so I could time which lantern to follow to try to photograph. I had difficulty trying to adjust my focus in the dark, but managed to get nice clean shots of Alex's lantern rising.



My favourite photo has to be this one, of a stranger's lantern. I could see that someone had written a lovely message and could make out "Puerto Rico" and a heart at the bottom.


Immediately after I took it, I looked around to find the owner of the lantern so I could offer to send them the photo. Luckily for me, they weren't far away and they were so grateful for the photo. Similar to my experience with my lantern, theirs floated away before they could snap up any photos, even with their camera set up on a tripod nearby. It was just the two of them (a couple) and so I reiterate my advice of going in groups!

After a while, unfortunately, the magic does wear off as those that didn't properly follow the instructions and released their lanterns too early fell sadly back to the ground. We stuck around for a while longer trying to get some photos before heading off. I managed to snap up this artsy-fartsy shot of a tiki-torch. Second favourite shot of the night :)




All in all, cannot recommend the event enough. It was a magical experience, I even teared up at one point, when the sky was completely filled with lanterns, all soaring up to the heavens, carrying everyone's wishes and dreams.

Hope you enjoyed these photos! Thanks for reading :)