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Luminary Lantern Launch on the Neuse
2nd Annual Shine a Light Fundraiser
April 3, 2023

unday evening, the ladies of the Oriental Woman’s Club (OWC) took over Lou Mac Park.

Their purpose: to launch lighted lanterns into the Neuse. Based off the Chinese Lantern Festival that honors the ancestors, the OWC Shine a Light Luminary Launch lanterns can carry whatever message the sender likes.

Luminary lanterns wait for launch on a park bench. Many have messages written on them or attached. Inside sits a small, battery-powered light that will illuminate them on their way to shore.

Some had names written on them, some had hand-written letters attached to them. One simply said “Peace.”

Jim Edwards and his daughter Alexis loaded up their boat, anchored out from Lou Mac Park, and released the lanterns into the Neuse.

Lanterns are delivered to the boat, which will take them out a little ways into the river.

Winds were at about 12 mph out of the south at the time of release. It carried the lanterns straight to shore.

Over 40 lanterns were purchased and released. Proceeds help fund the OWCs teacher-mini grants and scholarships for the students of Pamlico County.

Alexis Edwards balances on the bow while her father, Jim Edwards, drives the boat. High winds made for rough water.
People mill about in Lou Mac Park, waiting for sunset.
Jim & Alexis Edwards set off, boat full of glowing lanterns.
Lanterns are set adrift just as the sun is setting.
The wind pushed the lanterns into shore. The Edwards’ boat waited in the distance, ready to corral any stragglers.
Lanterns make to it shore; some in groups, some on their own.
Washed up on the rocks.

Posted Monday April 3, 2023 by Allison DeWeese

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