Facebook served me an ad promoting an event that the advertiser says is coming to the "Duluth area" in the near future, it caught my eye for how dangerous it sounds.

The event is called The Lights Fest and according to their website, "is an experience where thousands of friends and families gather to listen to live music, fill up on great food and light up life by sharing personal wishes, dreams and goals. At the perfect moment, everyone ignites their personalized sky lanterns with Tiki torches and lets them take flight."

To me, this event sounds dangerous, gathering thousands of people to send floating fires into the sky that could potentially start a fire nearby, injure someone on sight or harm wildlife in the area sounds like a very bad idea.

The organizers don't give a date for the event in the Duluth area as it seems they are just gathering contact information for a future announcement or maybe just seeing if there is interest in the area.

The Light Fest says they "utilize extremely safe, custom lanterns, we hire outside fire professionals who specialize in wildfire control throughout the US." the also state that "the lantern is fire-resistant to prevent the flame from traveling from the small fuel-source suspended in the middle. We have designed the fuel source in such a way that the flame is completely out before the lanterns descend and land."

According to the Minnesota State Fire Marshall in a 2012 memo, “Sky Lanterns” or “Celebration Lanterns"....require heat from a candle to raise them skyward, where they blow out of sight and land wherever fate drops them. The devices are illegal in Minnesota because they pose a distinct fire and safety threat to buildings, homes, natural settings, and livestock."

Maybe the organizers have received special permission, but they don't say anything about that on their website, but they do say "Fire Marshals require our events to be held at venues with sufficient acreage and away from homes and businesses", which certainly implies that they contact local authorities before an event."

Even with all the safety measures in place, an unexpected fire could still happen and I feel that it gives the impression that the devices are legal and it may promote their use in areas where it may not be safe.

What do you think, should the Duluth area welcome The Light Fest or say no thank you?

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