The History of the Feast of Lanterns

In 1905, the first Feast of Lanterns was held in Pacific Grove as the closing ceremonies to the Chautauqua Assembly. It wasn’t until December of 1957 that the Feast of Lanterns was revived as part of the city’s winter activities, and it was the next year that Mayor Shropshire asked City Councilman Clyde Dyke to chair the revival of the Feast of Lanterns. Clyde, assisted by his wife, Elmarie and the Mayor’s wife, Helen, orchestrated the Feast of Lanterns as we know it today; with its Royal Court, elegant costumes, teas, fashion shows, and the Legend of the Blue Willow enacted by the Royal Court and their families. The use and display of lighted lanterns, the boat parade that moves across the bay, a variety of family entertainment, and fireworks over the cove at the close the Festival were all introduced with the original Feast of Lanterns in 1905.