Night Bright!

Emma Sabin of Benson eagerly waits for her lantern it to heat up and float away. Sabin attended the city’s first Lantern Festival in 2018 with five members of her family. The second festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 7.

Spurred by success of the City of Benson’s inaugural lantern festival in 2018, the second annual event promises to deliver even more splendor.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 7, and head over to the driving range at San Pedro Golf Course, 924 N. Madison St., in Benson. It’s an event, according to organizers, you’ll not want to miss.

With cooling September evening temperatures, parlayed against the wide-open San Pedro Valley night skies, event organizers are expecting a large turnout.

“The first Lantern Festival was very successful,” commented Benson City Manager Vicki Vivian. “Everyone who attended had a great time and when the lanterns lifted into the night sky, you could hear an audible sigh as everyone was simply overwhelmed by the sight and their emotions. Anyone who was there planned on coming back to Benson for another amazing evening. There will be food and merchandise vendors, cornhole games, and a great Kids Zone. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon, relaxing (bring your lawn chairs and blankets) and connecting with family and friends while listening to great music until sundown... Whether you’re sending a message to a departed loved one, releasing weight you’ve been carrying for way too long, marking a milestone or achievement, celebrating an event with friends and family or simply celebrating yourself, this will be a magical experience for all.”

Traditional for centuries in Asian countries and cultures, the lantern festivals — participants simultaneously release lit lanterns against a night-sky canvas -— in a dazzling and spectacular spectacle in significance of a renewal so to speak.

Valley residents have been quick to embrace and throw their support behind the upcoming festival evidenced by a growing number of sponsorships.

The event runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., when the lighted lanterns are to be released.

“Get ready for a fun-filled time with the family! Mark milestones, set goals, celebrate the life of a loved one, or send up a prayer as we light our lanterns and watch this spectacular event!,” state’s the city’s promotional literature.

Some 800 lanterns were set off during last year’s inaugural event and featured close to 3,000 attendees, prompting Mayor Toney King to describe the event and turnout as “amazing.”

Tickets are currently on sale, visit the city’s website. The event also features an “amazing kid zone” for boys and girls 5 and under. Admission without a lantern is $15 per person. Lanterns are $25 and includes admission for two and kid zone admission. Ticket costs increase at the gate.

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