parade of lanterns san antonio

For two weeks every year, San Antonio’s world-famous River Walk transforms into unique light show during the Parade of Lanterns. This year’s breathtaking show of artistry and illumination takes place from January 25 through February 8, 2020, so plan your visit now.


About the Parade of Lanterns

The Ford Parade of Lanterns is a feast for the senses that transforms our own San Antonio River into a little slice of Asia. Lantern festivals and parades are common throughout Asia as part of various Lunar New Year celebrations which recently took place.

The Parade of Lanterns welcomes floats of all shapes and sizes designed to resemble great glowing dragons, adorable pandas, pinatas, and other whimsical and awe-inspiring designs.

Some of the standout lantern floats last year included:

  • Dragon Float, sponsored by Sinclair Broadcasting
  • Panda/Fans/Umbrellas Float sponsored by San Japan
  • Pinata Float sponsored by UTSA Confucious Institute
  • Texas Float sponsored by San Antonio River Walk Association
  • Butterfly & Mushroom Float  sponsored San Antonio River Walk Association
  • Hot Red Chili Pepper Float sponsored by The Original Mexican Restaurant
  • Mexican Kites sponsored by 120 Ninth Street Apartments
  • Bonsai Floats sponsored by Asian American Alliance of San Antonio.
  • Downtown at Night Float sponsored by Hyatt Regency San Antonio
  • IKEA Float sponsored by IKEA in Live Oak Texas

Expect many similar floats for the 2020 Parade of Lanterns! We’ll update this list as we get official details on the floats for this year’s edition.


Parade of Lanterns Dates, Times, Location

Each night from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, a parade of this multicolored, bright displays floats serenely down the river and transforms the River Walk into something truly magical. A map of each night’s parade route can be found here at the River Walk’s website.

The Parade of Lanterns runs from January 25 through February 8, which means you only have a small window of two weeks to see this one-of-a-kind light show.

There are plenty of restaurants and bars from which to watch the parade, which takes about two hours. Just note that weather can sometimes affect the parade, so check the parade’s Facebook page before heading out.

Need help parking when attending the event? Check out our guide to free parking in San Antonio for helpful info.


Does It Cost Money to Attend?

The Ford Parade of Lanterns is totally free to attend each night with no tickets required! This is a great idea for something free to do with the whole family on the weekend in San Antonio (or any day for that matter).


More Information

To learn more about the 2020 Parade of Lanterns, visit the event’s official website.