Tomorrow is the first day of fall which signifies the approach of seasonal events. Lafayette Parks, Recreation and Open Space have teamed up with the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission to create a magical event called Flight at Night Lantern Walk.
This event takes place at Waneka Lake Boathouse and Park on Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. A few activities visitors will get to enjoy include a walk around Waneka Lake with lanterns lighting up the path, learning about nighttime bird migration and stargazing with University of Colorado at Boulder’s eight inch telescope. Unlike other lantern festivals, none of the lanterns will be released into the air and therefore won’t create litter or fire hazards. You also have to make or bring your own lantern as they will not be provided on-site.
Martin Ogle, coordinator of Lafayette open space education and outreach program, created the event with local lantern walk creator, Paula Slick, to highlight the importance of open space and the outdoors.
Ogle and Slick will be at the event along with many others including Lafayette resident and author of the Smithsonian Field Guide to Birds, Ted Floyd; Lafayette photographer and former fire chief, Gerry Morrell; bird and astronomy expert, Jeff Maugans; CU Boulder astronomy professor, Charles Danforth; local community artist, Sarah Spencer and more.
Most of the lanterns featured during the event are homemade from local, compostable materials such as the coyote willow.
“The coyote willow comes from open space property,” Ogle said. “We highlight the fact that it is not only compostable, but it is harvestable—spurring further growth of the willow.” Flight at Night Lantern Walk will be followed up with the Fifth Annual “Celebrating Bird Migration!” Festival on Sunday. This event will also take place at Waneka Lake from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Participants will also learn about bird migration during this event and will get to see live birds of prey up close and view wild birds through spotting scopes and binoculars. Both events are part of Lafayette Open Space’s initiative called “Lafayette Birds!” to connect bird watching and appreciation of local bird life with the community.
Ogle hopes visitors will have a fun and educational experience in the outdoors at the Flight at Night Lantern Walk because it will help the community understand and celebrate the place we live in.
“We believe that the combination of fun, community and learning about our place will engender stronger community ties and an appreciation of the open spaces and parks that are a part of our city,” Ogle said.