The Feast of Lanterns is a near east side annual celebration, held in Spades Park that has deep roots in our neighborhood’s history. From 1909-World War II, the Brookside Civic League and nearby neighbors decorated the trees and bridges of Spades Park and their porches with colorful paper lanterns and gathered for a “Feast” of Lanterns annually. After WWII, the event died out. In 2003, Springdale and Windsor Park neighbors were planning a music festival and revived the lantern tradition. The festival was then taken over by the Near East Side Community Organization (NESCO).
The Feast itself is charming… beautiful lanterns swaying in the breeze, kids dancing to live music, food and craft vendors. It is the only large near east side event that attracts visitors from all parts of Indy. For many, the Feast is their introduction to our part of town and our somewhat forgotten parks. The Feast has helped change perceptions of what it means to live on the near east side.
In March, NESCO, the organization that has led the Feast of Lanterns for over a decade, announced that they would not be organizing the Feast of Lanterns this year. Many near eastsiders were disappointed and concerned about the future of the event.
A group of neighbors decided to try to save the event. They created a 501c3, Lanterns Foundation, and started fundraising in June. As of mid-July, they are 48% funded and are lining-up musical acts and vendors. With the funding deadline of July 31st fast approaching, the Feast may not happen this year. Check out their site and consider making a donation today. UPDATE: LF has reached their funding goal and the event is a go!
If you are interested in volunteering for the event, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are putting together a group of neighbors to volunteer for a set task the day of the event.