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Community Celebrations

Lantern Lighting Celebration 2024

September 20 - September 21

Onsite near Jo Pond
Admission is free; Lanterns are $10 in advance / $15 at the door
Purchase Tickets

Lakewood’s 10th Annual Lantern Lighting Celebration

Friday, September 20, 2024 | 5 – 8:30pm
Saturday, September 21, 2024 | 5 – 8:30pm

Rain Date: Sunday, September 22, 2024 | 5 – 8:30pm

Join Lakewood for our 10th 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: 5 – 7:30 pm

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. 

Ceremony: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm (Tentative)

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.

Purchasing a Lantern

To purchase your lantern(s), click on the green button below or click here to be directed to the Eventbrite ticketing page.

As a reminder, lanterns are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Parking and Transportation

Driving Directions

The Lantern Lighting ceremony takes place by beautiful Jo Pond. Signs will be posted directing you to the event site. Click here for GPS directions (this will open Google maps). Using this link may take you an alternate route than our signs direct and some roads may be closed for the event.

You may park along roads in the cemetery, except where there are “no parking” signs. Traffic in the cemetery on Lantern Lighting can be heavily congested, especially when entering or exiting the cemetery at the 36th Street & Hennepin Avenue entrance. To avoid traffic congestion, you can also use the 40th Street gate or enter through the Streetcar gate.

Due to the popularity of this event, we strongly encourage carpooling.

Handicap Parking

Handicap parking will be available near both entrances to the event, there are also options for drop off near event check-in locations. Please follow signs for directions to handicap parking spots.

Bus Directions

A bus stop is located right outside of Lakewood at 36th and Hennepin, from there it is approximately a 3/4 mile walk to Jo Pond.

Bike Directions

Lakewood has a small bike rack near the front gates. Please do not lock bikes to any of our signs or trees. Please use caution when biking through Lakewood during Lantern Lighting as we see a heavy increase in traffic. We strongly encourage bike riders to park their bike and walk. From the main entrance it is an approximate 3/4 mile walk to the event location.

Please use extra caution when biking at the end of the event as the roads are very dark and visibility is low. 

Additional gate access for Lantern Lighting

Due to the size and popularity of this event, we will have additional gates open for easy access for neighbors. This includes the Como-Harriet Streetcar gate and the 40th Street Gate.


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'm not honoring someone 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. Although many of our attendees are celebrating the life of someone at Lakewood, you are welcome to honor anyone that you would like on your lanterns.

Can I get my lantern back after the event?

Unfortunately you will not be able to get your lantern back after the event.

Can I use a photo for my lantern?

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

Will any of the mausoleums or other buildings be open for Lantern Lighting?

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.

The Welcome Center will not be open for this event.

If I'm not buying a lantern, do I still need to register?

While it is not required, we still encourage you to register as attending. This not only allows us to track attendance, but will also allow us to contact you with information regarding the event (for example, information on location and parking, and if there are any cancellation notices.)

Are food and drink permitted?

Yes, you are welcome to bring light snacks and beverages. We strongly encourage you to support our onsite food trucks but understand that lines can sometimes be long for this event.
Please make sure to clean up and not leave any trash on the grounds. Alcohol is not permitted onsite at Lakewood.

Are dogs or other pets allowed?

Dogs and other pets are not permitted anywhere at Lakewood unless they are service animals.

What happens if it rains?

The event may be postponed if there is heavy rain, strong winds, extreme heat, or thunderstorms. Should this happen, all attendees will be moved to the rain date of Sunday, September 22. You will receive an email communicating this. We will also post on this event page and on our Facebook page. If you are unable to attend on September 22, you may request a refund through Eventbrite or by emailing

How can I contact the organizer with questions?

We’d love to hear from you! Email us at or call 612-540-5165.

Questions? Call the Lakewood events line at 612-540-5165 or email to

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