A large crowd returned for the in-person 39th annual Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony on Saturday evening at Klopp Lake in the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary after a two-year pandemic break.
The emotional event, linked to the 77th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, was described by organizers as "an opportunity to offer spiritual consolation for everyone affected by the pandemic, those we miss, departed loved ones, ancestors and all we hold dear." The event began with participants creating their own personalized lanterns at a workstation on the Arcata Plaza during the morning farmers market. The low cloud cover lasted until sunset, when the sky turned colorful. The lanterns entered the water after twilight.
The event was hosted by Arcata Mayor Stacy Atkins-Salazar and included Humboldt Taiko's drumming, poetry reading, shakuhachi flute music by Rick Kruze, songs by the McKinleyville Choir and the Raging Grannies, and other speakers. See the slideshow below for highlights from the event.
The city of Arcata’s Nuclear-Free Zone Committee started the Arcata Lantern Floating Ceremony 39 years ago to commemorate the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and to affirm Arcata’s dedication to the cause of peace, to bring awareness to the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and to advocate for environmental sustainability. Community groups helping to create this event include: the city of Arcata, Humboldt Buddhist Peace Fellowship, GI Rights Hotline, Shinnyo-en, Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Social Action Committee, Veterans For Peace, Humboldt Friends Meeting (Quakers), United States Servas and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.