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Thousands of lanterns light up sky of Southern Colorado - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Thousands of lanterns light up sky of Southern Colorado

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News5 viewer Kate Lewis photographs thousands of lanterns floating from Pikes Peak International Raceway. News5 viewer Kate Lewis photographs thousands of lanterns floating from Pikes Peak International Raceway.
FOUNTAIN -

Thousands of lanterns lit up the night sky of Southern Colorado Saturday evening for the second annual Colorado Springs Lantern Fest. People started streaming into the Pikes Peak International Raceway Saturday afternoon, to claim their spot and wait for the right moment to release the lanterns into the air.

Families and friends gathered early to roast marshmallows over a campfire, listen to music and enjoy food and drinks before the release.

Organizer Spencer Humiston said the Lantern Fest has many meanings for many people and can be quite emotional for some.

"People can make it what they want to make it, like if they want to make it remembering people who passed away, or it's about love, or if it's just about kind of like the feeling of peace that you get from this event being with family, friends, it's just a cool event all the way around," said Humiston.

Many people write messages or draw pictures on their lanterns, some are of love or resolutions, others in tribute to a lost loved one.

After the lanterns float off into the night sky, they will eventually cool and fall to the ground. That's when the volunteers, also called "Lantern Chasers" will head out to pick them all up. The organization said they collect about 90% of the lanterns after the event.

For those that are missed, the lanterns are biodegradable. However, some nearby property owners expressed concerns about the lanterns littering their property or getting into equipment.

Firefighters were also on hand to watch for fire danger. As of Saturday night, News 5 did not receive any reports of fires sparked by the lanterns.

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