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Lights in the Night: Where hope takes flight

ArtPrize entry will be releasing thousands of lanterns into the Grand Rapids skyline at dusk on Friday, September 28.
Underwriting support from:

Sponsorships and Participation

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event at a cost of $10.00 per lantern and volunteers for lantern launching are needed.

Project organizers encourage volunteers to pre-register at in order to receive updates the week of the event and to aid coordinators in what aims to be the largest launch of lanterns in the world. This project was created to engage people of all ages and abilities, as well as large and small groups. Additional inquiries may be directed to: [email protected] for details, concerns or sponsorship opportunities.

/image via Shutterstock


The Lights in the Night ArtPrize artist, following advice from local weather media WZZM 13 Grand Rapids, FOX 17, WOOD TV8, WOTV 4, is making the call to postpone tonight's Lights in the Night GR lantern launch due to predicted inclement weather - high wind and rain. The new launch date is FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2012. The community will gather at 7:00 p.m. with a launch time of approximately 8:00 p.m.

Check the Lights in the Night Facebook page for more info:


As the anticipation of ArtPrize grows, art of all shapes, sizes and mediums are already appearing throughout Grand Rapids. While most of these will remain for the nearly three weeks that the event lasts, one event looks to take place for just one evening and hopes to capture the votes of thousands with its impact.

Thousands of glowing orbs will lift into the air on Friday, September 21 from three downtown Grand Rapids locations as part of ArtPrize entry "Lights in the Night: Where Hope Takes Flight." The lantern launch will be symbolic of the hopes and dreams of hundreds of Grand Rapidians and visitor volunteers alike, when eco-friendly Chinese sky lanterns will ascend into the sky at dusk as thousands look on at what will be an awe-inspiring and breathtaking ArtPrize experience.

“After three years of attending ArtPrize, voting and being amazed at the creativity of all the artists that dared to bring their work to a public competition, I decided it was time I got involved,” says Mark Carpenter, organizer and artist. “I realized that when the community would come together to launch the lanterns, that it would mimic life in the most profound way, with all of us uniting to lift off the hopes and dreams of our community…that to me is art.”

The public is invited to attend the lantern launch that will occur at dusk, approximately between 7 and 8 p.m., at the following venues in a coordinated effort to launch the balance of lanterns within a ten minute period:

GR Presidential Ford Museum Park - Ah-Nab-Awen Park 

Gillett Walkway Bridge 

Bridge Street Bridge  

Each lantern launched is said to represent a visual symbol of a dream of the person/people that launch it; some will represent personal and private needs and some public dreams, with each hope rising and traversing the sky silently until reaching its final destination.

The lanterns are 100% biodegradable and have a burn time of approximately two minutes. Attached to each lantern is a tag that the community is encouraged to return to Gilmore Collection restaurants where they will be honored with a special gift and an entry into a grand prize drawing, thus completing the journey of the dream.

In the event of inclement weather, other dates have been secured for the launch and will be communicated via social media (Twitter: @lightsGR and Facebook: /lightsinthenightgr) and those on the pre-registration list mentioned above at

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