Your Guide to the 2016 Lantern Parade

Cristian, 13, lights lanterns for the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade on Oct. 18.

Esther Ro

Cristian, 13, lights lanterns for the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade on Oct. 18.

UPDATE: The soggy weather has forced Spontaneous Celebrations to cancel the Saturday night portion of this year’s Lantern Parade. Sunday is still on.


Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for and enjoy the 33rd edition of Jamaica Plain’s iconic Lantern Parade.

The 2016 Lantern Parade takes place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22 and 23 around Jamaica Pond. Each night, live music begins at 5:30 p.m. The parade itself starts at 6:30 p.m.

If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat. Thousands of people walk around the pond carrying lights through the gathering October darkness. Costumes are encouraged.

As host Spontaneous Celebrations explains on its website, the Lantern Parade has its roots in Dutch tradition. Here’s the event’s Facebook page.

How to Get a Lantern

There are several ways to acquire a lantern:

  • Make one at a neighborhood workshop (schedule below)
  • Buy a kit at Boing!, 667 Centre St.
  • Buy one at City Feed or Ula Cafe.
  • Buy one from Spontaneous Celebrations the night of the parade at the Pond
  • Make one at home. One Boston mom who loves the Lantern Parade describes how in her blog.

Lantern-making workshops

Most of this year’s neighborhood lantern-making workshops have already been held, but three remain as of this guide being posted:

  • Friday, Oct. 21, 6-9 p.m., at Spontaneous Celebrations, 45 Danforth St.
  • Saturday, Oct. 22, 3-5 p.m., at the Jamaica Pond Boat House, near intersection of Pond St. and Jamaicaway
  • Sunday, Oct. 23, 2-4 p.m., at The Haven, 2 Perkins St.

Getting There

Each night of the Lantern Parade brings roughly 4,000 people to the Pond. Walking, biking or taking the T is highly encouraged. If you’re coming in from outside JP, Green Street Station is the closest stop. It’s about a 15-minute walk to the Pond. Forest Hills Station will also work, but count on walking at least 20 minutes.

If you must drive, the big parking lot at Burroughs and Centre fills up quickly.

What to Expect

If you’re new to the Lantern Parade or just want to relive previous years’ events, check out these archive stories from Jamaica Plain News:


This year it looks like Sunday may be the better weather day. Saturday is expected to be quite rainy, though the chance of showers decreases into the evening.