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News Release

Office of Cultural Affairs Announces 2020 Hilton Head Island Lantern Parade

Release Date: October 12, 2020

Contact Information:
Carolyn Grant email icon , Communications Director, 843-341-4618

You’re Invited to Parade-in-Place and Drive-Thru to See Displays

Right at home is the perfect spot for this year's Hilton Head Island Lantern Parade, scheduled to take place November 5-7.

"With the coronavirus pandemic still threatening our community and other activities, we've decided to host a parade-in-place event, a COVID-19 friendly alternative for this year's Lantern Parade," said Jenn McEwen, Director of Cultural Affairs for the Town of Hilton Head Island.

This is the second year of the Lantern Parade, a free event celebrating the history, ecology and people of Hilton Head Island. It was launched successfully last year on South Forest Beach and garnered over 1800 participants who paraded on the beach with their homemade lanterns reflecting a range of themes from lowcountry boils and Mitchelville cabins to sea turtles and light houses. More than 1000 spectators gathered and watched the sea of lantern lights that created a spectacular scene against the backdrop of the ocean and dark skies.

For this year's parade, participants are invited to make a lantern and display it to light up the community.

"Over the course of three nights - November 5th, 6th and 7th -, we are encouraging Islanders to light up their driveways, yards, balconies or doorsteps with their homemade lanterns. We have an online map for people to register their lanterns so their neighbors can know where to view each other’s lanterns," McEwen said. Participants can view the map and sign up at CultureHHI.org/Register-Your-Lantern.

Additionally, lead artist, Chantelle Rytter, who created the Lantern Parade concept, and her Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons, will be out each night at a different location for a drive-thru spectacle of light. The public is invited to drive-thru to view the large glowing puppets in action by the puppeteers. Approximately a dozen glowing lanterns varying in size from five to 14 feet large will be on display each night from 7 to 8 pm at the following locations:

  • Thursday, November 5 at the Coastal Discovery Museum, 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head Island.
  • Friday, November 6 at Hilton Head Island Fire Station 3, 534 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island (next to the First Presbyterian Church).
  • Saturday, November 7 at the Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, 226 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island.

Lantern making kits are available at the Coastal Discovery Museum gift shop and the Art League of Hilton Head Gallery at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Flying lanterns are prohibited in the state of South Carolina.

For more information and logistics about the Lantern Parade, contact the Office of Cultural Affairs at 843-341-4703 or visit culturehhi.org/lanternparade. Also, check out Facebook at @CultureHHI.


About the Artist

Chantelle Rytter is a community parade artist best known for founding the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade with the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons, of which she is the proud Captain. Chantelle, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, has founded several other annual parades based on public participation; the Decatur Lantern Parade, the Grant Park Halloween Lantern Parade, the Parliament of Owls Parade, and the Sandy Springs Lantern Parade on the Chattahoochee River. Chantelle grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and studied integrative arts at Penn State University. She lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, for ten years and fell under the spell of parade culture and the notion that creative play can be a civic gift.

Interviews with the artist and about the event may be scheduled through the Office of Cultural Affairs at 843-341-4703 or jennm@hiltonheadislandsc.gov.

About the Town of Hilton Head Island Office of Cultural Affairs

The Town of Hilton Head Island Office of Cultural Affairs works to promote and support Hilton Head Island as a vibrant cultural destination that enriches our diverse community. We strive for the island to be recognized as a vibrant and distinctive destination known for its unique arts and culture assets that serve a diverse community and create a richer quality of life. For more information, visit www.culturehhi.org.