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Lighting Up the River Walk

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By Daniel Richter
Web Content Contributor

The Chinese New Year began on Feb. 5 and San Antonio is celebrating the year of the pig in style. Saturday, the River Walk turned into an electric light show during the Confucius Wishing Lanterns on the River.

Saturday kicked off the Parade of Lanterns in San Antonio which is a two-week long event where gorgeous parade floats march up and down the River Walk every night from 7-9 p.m. Float designs include a dragon float, a panda float, a chili pepper float and many more.

For the kickoff on Saturday, for a small price, attendants received a lantern to write their new year’s wishes on. Once a lantern is ready it is sent out into the river to join everyone else’s new year’s wishes.

A slight drizzle and cold temperatures led to lower attendance than expected as well as most vendors deciding to not show, but thankfully it was not enough to cancel the event.

The event started at 3 p.m. but once the sun went down at 6:30 p.m., the river was flooded with beautiful lights of all colors.

Hundreds of lit lanterns of various bright colors fill the San Antonio River.
Wishes fill the San Antonio River during the Confucius Wishing Lanterns on the River. Photo by Daniel Richter.

Calming traditional Chinese music set a mood of inspiration and growth as attendants cast out their new year’s wishes. People of all ages and all races came together with a common dream of hoping for a better tomorrow. A great sense of community was in the air as everyone wished to better themselves or loved ones. Many wishes cast out were very personal including mourning the loss of a family member, or praying to end a disease. Other wishes were more lighthearted such as hoping a certain sports team won a championship this year or just wishing to have a fun night.

It was a breathtaking site to see everyone’s wishes flood the river in the display of a beautiful light show. The event was a clear success and if clear skies allow it, the event is expected to be even bigger next year.

You can view the Parade of Lanterns until Feb. 23. It’s a great date night idea as well as a chance to celebrate the beauty of the Chinese New Year.

Featured image by Daniel Richter.

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