The lantern procession tradition burns bright at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival

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      Each night at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival when Jericho Beach begins to go dark and the final act takes the main stage, the annual lantern procession begins weaving its way through the crowd. 

      And while most folk fest attendees are familiar with some of the lanterns that reappear each year, not everyone may be familiar with the team behind the structures.

      According to Marya Gadison, the coordinator of the lantern committee, a simple star lantern can take three to six hours to make.

      “Some of the more elaborate ones, sometimes they spend almost a year…people work a long time on them,” she told the Straight in an interview.

      Everyone involved in the committee (about 25 people this year) is an artist, and the group holds lantern-making workshops in the weeks leading up to the festival.

      This year, the theme for the design of the lights is “monsters over the bed”.

      “We’ve got all sorts of crazy creatures and monsters,” said Gadison.

      She added the tradition is always a crowd favourite.

      “There really is a love of the lanterns,” she said.

      “Through the entire procession, so many smiling faces…It’s a very magical experience.”

      Below are a few photos of some of this year's lanterns.