"RiSE elevates hope, ignites dreams, and creates moments you will never forget." -RiSE
Every October for the last three years just north of Las Vegas the most spectacular light shoe occurred for two nights. This is better than all the lights the Las Vegas strip has combined and will leave you more awestruck with a warm fuzzy feeling unlike any other.
Sure Las Vegas has a million things to offer, so why would you want to drive 30 minutes north to the desert and spend your Friday or Saturday night on an Indian Reservation with 20,000 of your closets friends? Well if the pictures aren't enough to convince you, maybe this one minute video will.
We arrived just before dusk into the dusty desert with excitement buzzing around us like a swarm of mosquitos (don't worry there weren't those because well- its the desert). After parking and setting my dad and Mimi off onto the assistance shuttle, we were off on our RiSE journey. You will start by walking roughly a quarter mile to the welcoming "RiSE" sign. May I suggest wearing boots or close toed shoes you don't mind getting dirty. Once you arrive make sure to get your picture now because if you wait, the line will be forever long or you will end up taking a sub-par selfie like we did.
Next you go to your assigned section and grab your lantern kit which includes a mat to sit on, two lanterns, and a marker to write your wishes with.
Don't worry about finding a "good spot" because the venue is set up in a circle which means every spot is amazing and makes you feel like you've won the jackpot. The first year I went we parked ourselves in the middle of the circle close to the stage. It was great an all because you were surrounded by glowing lantern, however due to people not knowing what they are doing with the lanterns and trying to force them to float before they were ready we had to be on watch for any lanterns that may be floating directly towards your head. This year we stayed in the outer edge of the circle and it was still an amazing experience minus the risk of possibly getting struck by a lantern.
Since you're out in the desert for hours at a time if you decided to take full advantage of the day, food trucks line the outer banks of the venue so make sure to come hungry!! Also, it's a desert folks, so port-a-pottys are the only option as well. I suggest bringing hand sanitizer.
So you now know about about the RiSE lantern event itself, but what is the purpose of it? For some it is something to do on the weekend, for others it is a way of ending or beginning a chapter in their life. Some come with their loved ones, while others come with their friends. The atmosphere is a peaceful, serene one. Most people I've come in contact with and stories I've read are those who need some inspiration or who have overcome a tragic life event.
Never have I been to something where everyone is loving and caring towards their fellow man. This isn't your average desert party. The music is melodic, and it is more of a spiritual experience if you will. People writing goals, inspiring quotes, and love notes to send to those in heaven. Last year I went with a boyfriend which was amazing, fun, and romantic. This year I was able to take my Mimi who has had a rough year since the passing of my Papa, and seeing her experience the event has been one of my most favorite memories with her to date.
Everyone should experience the RiSE lantern festival at least once.There really are no words to describe the feelings you feel, and yes it is totally okay to cry. I do every year. So mark your calendars for next October and get ready to be forever changed!!