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A few weeks back, I attended the RiSE festival, which is regarded as the most magical festival. I was able to connect with the energy of strangers and set my intentions in the world, seeing tens of thousands upon a night sky lit up by lanterns. It was the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen.

On a cool October night, thousands of people travel from all over the US to the Moapa Valley to make their intentions known and let their dreams take flight. The crowd lights their lanterns together in unison after the sun sets behind desert mountains.

The weight is being released into the dark, brilliant sky. Unique messages can take flight, becoming brilliant flames like tiny suns rising above our heads, from dreams to loss. This event was so inspirational, I can’t wait to go back.

What is the RiSE Festival?

“RiSE inspires hope and dreams, and creates moments that you will never forget.”

The scene in Tangled when Repunzel sees the floating lanterns flying into the sky is the one you remember. Pure magic.

RiSE Festival brings hope, love, and peace to the world by lighting thousands of lanterns that are then sent off into the night. It’s a place where thousands gather and, in one act, form a community. It is a stunning display that brings together the voices of thousands of people to create an unstoppable movement.

Although the symbol is simple in practice, it is so powerful to see the first thousand lanterns rise together that you will feel your heart pound!

You can also light two lanterns of your choice ( to represent your dreams, hopes, or resolutions to be set Free), and there will be live music from handpicked local musicians, food trucks, and alcohol ( , because what festival is complete without expensive beer?).

This event is not only magical but also sustainable and eco-friendly. RiSE Festival follows a similar policy to Burning Man. The crew returns 100% of the lanterns. Each lantern can be thrown away if it is damaged.

I Let My Dreams Fly at The Most Magical Festival Ever; RiSE Festival ticketsI Let My Dreams Fly at The Most Magical Festival Ever; RiSE Festival sustainability in the desert

When and where is The RiSE Festival?

The RiSE Festival takes place about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada in Moapa Valley. The event usually takes place in the first week of Octubre, which makes it ideal weather-wise.

This was our first trip to Las Vegas. It is one of our favorite cities here in the US. We gambled till 4am, slept until noon, and then went straight to the festival.


  • Take the 15 freeway north from Las Vegas.

  • Take exit 75

  • Continue following the traffic for approximately 5 minutes to get to the lot

  • Enjoy the festival by walking with the crowds until you reach the entrance.

I Let My Dreams Fly at The Most Magical Festival Ever; RiSE Festival Moapa Indian Reservation DesertI Let My Dreams Fly at The Most Magical Festival Ever; RiSE Festival Moapa Indian Reservation Desert

What can you expect?

Great food is possible. Delicious beer is also possible. You can expect local, handpicked musicians. Expect local, hand-picked musicians.

This was not what I had expected. It looked beautiful and made for some wonderful photos.

It was so much more.

Many saw this as a chance to let go their past and release the negative thoughts that had weighed down their lives.

Others saw this as an opportunity to replace their sadness, fear, or loss with hope. The festival-goers felt a sense peace and catharsis when their lantern (which contained a deep, powerful message) was lifted into the air.

For others, it was an Instagram opportunity.



Avoid white unless you have a beautiful vision with your art or photography. It will get messy when you’re in the middle the desert. Bring something that you aren’t afraid of getting dirty.

Dress comfortably, I regret it. Wear sneakers and loose clothes. Keep a jacket on hand for the evening.

The food trucks are great, but also includes food. It was okay, though the prices were high (8 oz. beer and $14 for entrees). The price is not high enough to satisfy, but it’s sufficient to satisfy.

The package includes a felt pen and 2 paper lanterns. A mat for sitting on is also included. Be aware that they may get dirty.

Send your thoughts, hopes and messages. Your lantern will be your writing instrument. You have plenty of time to consider it and make sure it has meaning to you.

Be aware of your surroundings, or you could set yourself ablaze! Sometimes lanterns aren’t lit properly, or the wind grabs them. This could lead to you setting fire. We nearly set fire to a child’s head when we were almost hit by several lanterns. It’s dangerous!dsc_0025

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