Lakewood Events: Lantern Lighting Celebration – Minneapolis, MN

Sep 17, 2023 | events/locations

Photo by Bre McGee for Uncommon Collaborative

Lakewood’s 9th Annual Lantern Lighting Celebration

Join Lakewood for our 9th annual Lantern Lighting Celebration — an evening for all to gather with family, friends and community to honor and remember those we love and miss. We are so excited to bring this treasured tradition to our community once again.

How it works

Decorate a floating lantern in memory of a loved one with words of love and remembrance. Lakewood provides art supplies for you. You may bring loved ones’ pictures to use, but please know that lanterns will not be returned to you. 

At dusk, we’ll light our lanterns together and release them onto Lakewood’s Jo Pond in a beautiful ceremony. The effect is breathtaking and magical, providing a unique connection to our loved ones. You are free to take photos of your lantern, as you will not be able to retrieve lanterns after the ceremony. 

Lakewood is a nonprofit organization that is accountable and committed to serving Minnesota families and the community at large in a multitude of ways. We are honored to offer events, such as this, for people to come together and honor those loved and lost.

Lantern Decorating, Food Trucks, and Live Music

Design a lantern to honor someone who you love and miss. Whether it’s a photo, a drawing, a memory, or simply a name – you are invited to create a beautiful work of art dedicated to someone special. Lakewood will supply markers and other creative supplies to help you decorate your lantern while you enjoy live music, food trucks and Lakewood’s scenic views.

Remember – if you bring a photograph, please bring a copy of the image as you will not be able to get your lantern back after the event.

You will not get your lantern back after the event, so be sure to take lots of pictures! Lanterns and any debris from the event will be removed from the lake each night. 


Friday Night

Lakewood welcomes Becky Schlegel to kickoff this year’s Lantern Lighting Celebration! Becky is a songstress. Her music is original, drawing on the influence of classic country, bluegrass, folk, and her own thoughtful spirit. Becky’s incredible voice floats, whispers, and then soars above music of the highest quality. Join Becky on Friday night for a musical journey exploring new places and meeting new people in every song.

Saturday Night

Lakewood is honored to welcome back local musician Sarah Morris! Sarah is a songwriter, lover, and mother, documenting the glorious details of our messy, magical, everyday lives. The Minneapolis-based artist has become a fast favorite on the folk and Americana scene. She won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Contest and has been a finalist in both NewSong and MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Called a “country-leaning Norah Jones” (Star Tribune), Morris brings a subtlety to her craft, leaning into the details of the story and the heart of the song.

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Haven in the Heart of the City, Paperback

Food and Beverages

This year’s food trucks are: KCM EggrollsChef Lucas’ Pizza, and Root to Rise.

Ceremony: 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Just before dusk, we will gather on the shores of Lakewood’s Jo Pond to illuminate and release our lanterns while reading the names of those who are loved and missed. A bagpiper will play as darkness settles and our lanterns dance and float on the water — illuminating our individual intentions, reflecting our collective impact and lighting up the night.

What to bring

Copies of photos to attach to your lantern (no originals please, as lanterns will not be returned).

Your camera or smartphone to take pictures of your lantern.Folding chairs or blankets for the ceremony.

A flashlight or phone with a flashlight app to help you find your way after the ceremony.

Art supplies will be provided, but you may bring your own if you’d like.

You are welcome to bring snacks if you’d like. Food trucks will be available.

Photo by Bre McGee for Uncommon Collaborative


Lakewood Lantern Lighting

Friday, September 22nd – Saturday, September 23rd, 5:00pm – 8:30pm

Rain Date: Sunday, September 24th | 5:00pm – 8:30pm

Onsite near Jo Pond Lanterns are $10 advance / $15 day of (Admission is free)

Reserve lanterns 

Lantern sales end on Wednesday, September 21st at 5:00pm
After that, lanterns may only be purchased at the door


Lakewood Cemetary

3600 Hennepin Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 


Parking is available along roads inside the cemetery. We strongly encourage carpooling. Due to the nature of the grounds and roads within the cemetery, you may need to park a distance from the event site, so please wear comfortable shoes! There is handicap parking and drop-off available at the event site near the lake. Signs will point the way from the front gates.


What happens to the lanterns after this event?

To keep Lakewood beautiful for families who may be visiting loved ones and the wildlife that call Lakewood home, our grounds crew will clear out the lanterns and remove any excess debris from the lake each evening. The decorative part of the lantern will be recycled, and the lantern bases will be reused.

Can I still attend if I don’t have family buried at Lakewood?

Absolutely! Our Lantern Lighting Celebration is about coming together to honor those are missed and loved. All are welcome to attend our Lantern Lighting Celebration.

Can I bring a photo to use my lantern?

Please bring copies of photographs! As mentioned above, the lanterns will not be returned after the event.

Where does this event take place?

This event takes place down by beautiful Jo Pond on the southwest corner of Lakewood Cemetery. Signs will be posted directing attendees to the event location. Directions to Jo Pond (this will open Google Maps) – these directions may differ from posted signs.

What happens if it rains? 

The event may be canceled if there is heavy rain, strong winds, extreme heat, or thunderstorms. Should this happen, we will email all registered guests in advance of the event start time. We will also post on this event page and on our Facebook page.

All tickets for the affected date will be transferred to Sunday, September 24th. If you cannot attend the rain date, you are welcome to request a refund. 

Will any of the mausoleums or buildings be open for this event?

The Garden Mausoleum, Community Mausoleum, and the Memorial Chapel will all be open until 7pm. Please note that these buildings are about a half a mile away from the event location.



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