Points of Light is a spring celebration of unity and renewal that brings together the food, music, and traditions of Lowell’s diverse cultures. The centerpiece of the night is a special ceremony in which participants personalize water lanterns that will be released onto the Western Canal, creating hundreds of floating points of light.

Where are We?

You’ll find us on Ecumenical Plaza, between St. Patrick’s Church and Holy Trinity Church in the heart of the Acre, on Saturday, April 25, 2020.

We are Community-Driven

Points of Light is planned by volunteers and local nonprofits donating staff time. Our planning committee is completely open to the community and we’re always looking for feedback. We also rely on donations to keep the event entirely free. Please consider donating.

Our 2019 Spotlight-Level Sponsors

Thanks also to our Radiance-level sponsors, AE Event Systems, Boston Light Source, Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Eastern Bank, Edge Group, Enterprise Bank, and Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union.

Thanks to in-kind sponsors City of Lowell, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and City of Lowell Solid Waste Department.

Finally, thanks to individual Spark-level donors Andeth Vahn, Dawn Grenier, Julia DiBenigno, Barbara Jean Gilbert, Linda Barrington, Judy Huber, Jay Hungate, Jack Thompson, Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association, Amy Scannell, Cassandra Goldwater, Rene Fay, Jack O’Connor, Nick Sarris, Dot Richards, Ruth Evans, Donovan White, Peter Martin, Danielle Savoie, Chuck Arnold, Mary McNamara, Jack Moynihan, Leeann Atkinson, Debbie White, and Joe Smith.

Points of Light has sponsorship packages at multiple levels. We also are always looking for community partners. If you’re interested in corporate or individual sponsorship opportunities, please email info@diylowell.org!

The Importance of Lanterns

In Japan, participants float paper lanterns in memorial during Tōrō nagashi. In Thailand and Laos, people celebrate Loi Krathong by floating a small boat with a candle. In Cambodia, it is the festival of Bonn Om Teuk. In India, a religious ceremony includes candles floated on the Ganges. Lichterswimmen has occurred in Zurich for over half a century, and floating candles is part of a Slavic holiday, Kupala Night.

This is now a tradition in Lowell. Leading up to the event, people throughout the city decorate the lanterns with art, prayers, memorials, and messages. Before the lanterns are launched, local organizations sell traditional ethnic foods, while Lowell’s diverse cultures perform music and dance. As sun sets, the lanterns are released. A dance party closes out the evening!