Lanterns of all descriptions will take to the beach in this year’s Lantern Parade Nov. 13. COURTESY OFFICE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS

Hilton Head Island’s third annual Lantern Parade will light up the island’s coastline along South Forest Beach on the evening of Nov. 13. After last year’s COVID alternative lantern puppet safari drive-thru events, we are thrilled to be able to gather in person again.

Created by and featuring artist Chantelle Rytter, the Lantern Parade is a free event and an opportunity for residents and visitors to celebrate the history, ecology and people of Hilton Head Island. Everyone is invited to make a lantern and march in the parade, a marquee event for Crescendo, the month-long celebration of arts and culture presented by the Arts Council of Hilton Head.

The goal of the parade is to bring all aspects of our community together and illuminate Hilton Head Island’s identity. We love this event as a perfect community connector because it is accessible to all ages and skill levels.

During the inaugural event we saw incredible creations by our community, including a shrimp trawler, alligators, dolphins, lighthouses and more, made by 1,800 participants.

Additionally, this year a drive-thru puppet safari will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 12 at Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park. This is a free event to come and see the large-scale lantern puppets up close as you drive through the park.

For those who wish to participate in the parade Nov. 13, lineup will begin at 5 p.m. at the Alder Lane Beach Access. At 5:45 p.m., the parade will step off and travel north from South Forest Beach to Coligny Beach Park. Participants should park at the USCB parking lot off Pope Avenue. A shuttle, provided by Breeze Trolley, will take participants to the Alder Lane Beach access. The official after-party will be hosted at the Tiki Hut by the parade’s hotel partner, Beach House Resort, and feature local band Groove Town Assault.

Participants must have a lantern to walk in the parade and are encouraged to get creative and freestyle a lantern project of their own. You can also purchase sea turtle, butterfly and owl lantern making kits at the Coastal Discovery Museum gift shop.

Lantern parade map and logistics can be found at

Bikes, motor vehicles, pets and flying lanterns are prohibited in the parade.

Jenn McEwen is the director of the Town of Hilton Head Island’s Office of Cultural Affairs.