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For Some, Lantern Festival Causes More Harm Than Good

By Andrea Flores

DACONO, Colo. (CBS4) – The Lantern Fest in Dacono sold out to a crowd of 6,000 people Sunday night, but many walked away without letting one go.

“We were really hoping to make a wish tonight for our family, so it was a bummer,” said attendee Christin Worsley.

High winds, dry conditions, and warm temperatures made for a red flag warning in parts of Weld County, prompting promoters to postpone the event.

(credit: CBS)

Attendees leave the facility on Sunday night after it was called off. (credit: CBS)

“Sitting around our campfire, were even joking about having small kids around the campfire with the wind blowing,” said Sarah Ward, another attendee.

On Saturday, a sold out crowd successfully lit the airborne lanterns at the speedway.

But Lauren Gueswel, owner of Plane View Farm in Erie, says Saturday night’s windy conditions sent hundreds of lanterns into her pastures.

“They were coming down in masses,” Gueswel said. “I mean there were close to 200 that we ended up picking up.”

(credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Andrea Flores interviews Lauren Gueswel. (credit: CBS)

Many of them were still lit.

“Most of them did not have an ember, but I would say there were about a dozen that we stomped out,” Gueswel said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Dozens of horses also started to spook.

“It’s not only a risk to the horses of getting out on the road and getting struck, but to the drivers,” Gueswel said.

While Gueswrl says she’s not opposed to the event, she hopes organizers will think twice about where it’s held.

“I think it’s an event that needs to be in a place that does not have so much flammable areas surrounding it, as well as livestock areas,” said Gueswel.

Sunday attendees said they will just have to wait until next time.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“Although we’re sad, we understand that safety is top priority,” Ward said.

If you were at the Lantern Fest Sunday and have questions about your ticket, organizers ask you to email them at

Andrea Flores is a reporter for CBS4. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @AndreaFloresTV.


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