The Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to further and enhance the culture, history and heritage of the City of Pacific Grove through civic and cultural activities, including the annual Feast of Lanterns festival, and to provide scholarships for the continued education of the Royal Court.
Feast of Lanterns festivals and celebrations are centuries old and are celebrated all around the world and throughout the US - from NY to Indiana, Ohio, Michigan on to Montana and throughout California.
No one knows if the Feast of Lanterns festivals were first celebrated hundreds of years ago in Japan or China or somewhere else in the ancient lands of our world, but these festivals of light continue as part of the international and national landscape. This festival is not unique to Pacific Grove.
In 1905, when the Methodists and the Woman's Civic Club of Pacific Grove organized the first Feast of Lanterns festival as the closing ceremony to the annual Chautauqua Assembly, their Japanese and Chinese neighbors were invited and joined in the celebration. They carried lanterns, brought fish to add to the feast, lit their boats as they floated off the cove, and enjoyed the amazing display of fireworks.
When the Feast of Lanterns was revived in 1958, at the request of then Mayor Frank Shropshire; his wife Helen; City Councilman Clyde Dyke and his wife Elmarie Hurlbert Hyler Dyke; they produced the Festival we know and love today - a multi-cultural folk festival which our community supports and participates in each year.
As it was in 1905, and revived in 1958, and continues today, there is an opportunity to enjoy music and dancing from around the world, view exhibits and enjoy the locals literary efforts, meet your neighbors, and have fun in the fresh air, sunshine, and cool fog of Pacific Grove.
The Royal Court
The Feast of Lanterns' Royal Court members are selected by a panel of community leaders from applicants who are middle and high school-aged young women who live in the Pacific Grove Unified School District. The young women who are selected excel academically and are active in community service and extra-curricular and non-school activities and represent the City of Pacific Grove as the Royal Court for one year.
The proceeds of the festival each year, minus operating expenses, fund an academic scholarship program to benefit the Royal Court.
Invest in the Future of the Feast of Lanterns
There are a multitude of ways you can help keep the lanterns lit - become a volunteer at any one of the events or join any number of planning committees, make a monetary contribution to the Feast of Lanterns, or become an event or general sponsor.
Volunteer - it's fun, fun, fun!
Each year the Feast of Lanterns depends on its volunteers to work with its Board of Directors to put on all the wonderful events the community enjoys each year. We need help with planning and with the execution of the events. To find out more about volunteering, contact the Feast of Lanterns using the contact form at the top of the page or pick up a FOL Volunteer form at the Museum, Library, or Chamber of Commerce.
Support the Feast of Lanterns
The Feast of Lanterns is made possible through your financial support. Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns is a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to further and enhance the culture, history, and heritage of Pacific Grove through civic and cultural activities, including the Feast of Lanterns festival, and to encourage continued higher education of the Royal Court through an annual scholarship fund. Learn more about sponsorships and donations on this website. You can also mail a donation directly to us at PO Box 809, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.
The Feast of Lanterns is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) public benefit organization, with an all volunteer Board of Directors. The proceeds of the festival each year, minus operating expenses, fund an academic scholarship program for the "royal court", who are community spirited, active middle and high school students.
Any persons requiring auxiliary aids or services while attending Pacific Grove’s Feast of Lanterns may contact the festival by using the contact form at the top of the page or mailing us at P.O. Box 809, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.
2017 Board of Directors:
President - Joni Birch
Vice President - Kaye Coleman
Secretary - Matt Hoffman
Treasurer - Katie Samora Henden