Half of the group flew in on one night & the other half flew in the next morning. I woke up really early because I couldn’t go back to sleep. My morning actually started off pretty productive. I went through emails & caught up with my feeds.
The first thing we all did was have lunch at Wicked Spoon, which is an all-you-eat buffet inside of The Cosmopolitan.
I was actually so hungry I forgot to take photos of anything inside of the restaurant 😅 After lunch, we walked to grab some Fat Tuesdays because a few friends wanted to go.
After walking around for a bit, we went to the shuttle pick-up area for The Rise Festival which was at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
There were plenty of shuttles & guests are not allowed to board unless they bought the shuttle pass with their ticket. There is an option to get a shuttle pass separately which is what two of my friends ended up doing.
The check-in time to get on the shuttle was pretty seamless. We got to the shuttle pick-up area around 4 PM & we didn’t have to wait in any long line or take time to load the shuttle. Once the shuttles were loaded up, we were on our way to The Rise Festival!
All of us ended up falling asleep during the ride as it’s a bit far out from the Strip, but we all felt much more energized after our naps.
Once we arrived, it took us a while trying to figure out which location we were stationed at. Since there is no service out in the desert, I advise screenshot-ing or saving a photo of your tickets & directions.
Once we finally found the area we’re stationed at, we lined up at our station’s tent to pick up our mats & lanterns.
NOTE ** blankets are not allowed at this event because it is a fire hazard, so every guest is supplied with a mat with your ticket
NOTE ** every guest with a ticket is given two lanterns because there are two lantern send-offs! I wish I had known this beforehand, so that I think about what I could write on each lantern
We all got settled in our designated area & took some photos!
Jeremiah suggested I start writing on my lantern before the sun sets otherwise I would have a hard time trying to write in the dark. He was right! Later on, we saw a ton of people trying to write with a flashlight in the dark.
I wrote a message to my dad & my uncle on my lantern. I was trying not to cry, but I failed. I wrote a long message for my dad saying how much I missed him & some personal thoughts I wanted to share with him. On my uncle’s lantern, I wrote a message as well & sent love from the family his way.
There was a small stage set in the middle of The Rise Festival with musical performances to keep the crowd entertained before the lantern send-offs started.
Prior to lighting the lanterns, all areas lit their torches & everyone was given directions on how to properly light the lanterns & send them off into the sky.
Once everyone lit their lanterns, the whole crowd did a countdown before everyone lifted their lantern into the sky.
It was difficult trying to light the lanterns & send them off at first, but once we got to our 2nd lantern, I’d say we got the hang of it. All of ours eventually went up!
I definitely cried after sending my Dad & Uncle’s lantern up in the sky. I’m so glad Jeremiah & my best friends were there to share that experience with me. This is a moment I will never forget.
I also didn’t know that they have fireworks, so that was a surprise to all of us!
This event was truly an amazing experience & I am so glad I got to do it with a great group of people ❤️