Rise Festival | Together We Rise.

People gathered from all over to see thousands of lanterns RISE into the sky. We made the trip from San Diego to the Mojave Desert just for the event and we were not disappointed. The experience was magical, spiritual, it was so amazing to be a part of something, where people were openly sharing their stories, their celebrations, fears and love.

We met Tayler and Nate, my sister and brother in-laws there. We both had our “twin” babies in tow and got a spot in the family section. There was plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the ambiance. A live band played and we got food at one of the food trucks. As I walked around the grounds, I couldn’t help but notice so many couples hugging, kissing, people writing messages on the lantern, some were happy, some with remembrance or sadness. There were people old and young, small families, teenagers, people from all walk of life were there to celebrate.

I can’t quite put into words the feeling I had when the lanterns started to RISE. It was overwhelming… the ethereal music playing, looking around seeing tears rolling down peoples’ cheeks, I couldn’t help but cry. I looked at Tayler, both of us holding our littles, both with happy tears. It was an experience I will never forget.

After that initial launch, standing in awe of the thousands of lanterns in the sky, we let the little boys send a few off with the help of Dad. Watching Clay help Ezra and his excitement was priceless. I loved every second.

If you ever get a chance, GO. You must. It was incredible and I cannot wait for next year. Oh and next year I am taking a legit camera. My iPhone just didn’t do it justice.

Look closely for us in the video! My brother in law, Nate Gunn was part of making this film sooo we snuck in the tiniest little cameo. 🙂

If you have ever been, I would LOVE to hear about your experience!


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  1. Sally says:

    I’m going this year in October! So excited! I totally teared up just watching their video, I can’t imagine what a mess i’ll be when I am physically there HA. Glad you had such a great time. Any tips on things we should be prepared for or bring?

    • mary.l.johnson1@gmail.com says:

      So excited for you!! You will love it.

      I can’t remember if you can bring in food + water. But I recommend it if you can. I also recommend arriving early because traffic on the 15 fwy gets pretty crazy. We will go really early this year.

  2. Lindsay Goldfine says:

    I’m getting teary just reading this! I wanna go!!

  3. Sally Fazeli says:

    This looks like such an incredible festival! My eyes filled just watching the video so goodness knows what I’d be like in real life. Lovely to see a glimpse of you and Tayler in there too 🙂 xxx

  4. Alison says:

    I just booked our flights! We are flying down from Washington for the October Festival! We are so excited! (:


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