Friday, July 19, 2013

Forest Hill Cemetery Lantern Festival - Review

I was at the 2013 -15TH ANNUAL LANTERN FESTIVAL at Forest Hill Cemetery in Massachusetts, and here is what to expect if you are interested in going next year.

This is an annual event held in summer.

Admission is FREE; $10/car.
Address: 95 Forest Hills Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130
Telephone 617 524 0128
Fax 617 524 0848

It started at 6pm this year.

Firstly, I must say, Forest Hills Cemetery is a very old and nice cemetery. In fact, some of the graves are more than 100 years old. Located just outside Boston (Jamaica Plains) By itself, this is a very nice place to visit.

Being a pretty large event, there are quote a bit of live performances. Ranging from local bands singing, Japanese Dancing and Drums, the event does try to make it cultural. After all, its a lantern festival and you can purchase lantern floats for $10 at the tents.

I feel that the event is not very well organized though. There are many people, but just not enough information on it. If you go to the website, there is no information on the performances at all.

Granted it starts at 6pm, if you do not bring your own food, you do not get dinner. You get to buy cold water for $1 a bottle, but that's about it. As for photographers, this is a pretty nice event, many things to shoot, and the sunset is pretty nice there. with the lake in the middle of the cemetery.

So some Pro Tips:

1) Bring your own food, absolutely nothing nearby to get food from. The dead do not eat... except for perhaps brains?
2) Bring $10 for parking and canvas perhaps to sit on for a picnic.
3) Arrive at about 6pm to get a good place to watch the performances and release the lantern.
4) Remember, there are lots of trees and wilderness, so bring insect repellant.
5) Bring a good camera suitable for low light photography, many things to shoot.
6) Bring a flashlight. As the event winds down, there is no lights in the cemetery.

Overall, I think this is a rather fun event, great for a summer night. If you park outside, the event is totally free!

-- Robin Low

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