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Lantern Walk  + Market 


5-8 PM

Hillsborough, NC


Registration is required to attend this event. If you haven't already, click here to register for the walk! Suggested donation for this event is $5.00 per person. *Your registration helps us with crowd management and grant reports!


This is a winter event, and rain-or-shine (barring severe or prohibitive conditions), so be sure to bundle up with gloves, scarves, hats, winter coat, etc. to ensure you're cozy throughout the evening!


Our aim is to bring the stars to the ground on this quiet solstice evening. Of course, you'll need your brilliant lantern. If you still need to craft your lantern, click here for Solstice Lantern Resources.


You're also encouraged to bring a flashlight in case you need additional assistance navigating around on the darkest night of the year! There will be sections of Riverwalk that are rather dark. We'll do our best to set up ground-level lighting, but stay alert as you trek the boardwalks.


Please be mindful to keep flashlights facing the ground at all times and out of the eyes of your fellow participants. LEDs only. No flames.


This year, Solstice Market will take place before & after the walk under the Farmers Market Pavilion. Click here for 2023 Solstice Market Announcements!


We encourage you to have pocket money on hand in case you'd like to warm your hands with a hot cocoa or apple cider, grab a snack, support local artists, or stock up on any last minute artist-made gifts.


Beyond the walk, many local businesses will be supporting the experience with In-Town Solstice Specials & Promotions. We highly encourage visitors of this event to stay in town for dinner, dessert, to peruse in-town artist wares, and tour the gingerbread on display in many local shop windows!


For comprehensive details on parking in downtown Hillsborough, please click here! 


We expect high traffic, and encourage those who are able to prioritize on-street parking a few blocks away from the Farmers Market Pavilion, before walking in to the event.


The walk begins at 5:45 PM, after the sun has fully set. This is approximately a 1.5 mile walk. It takes between 45-60 minutes to complete, depending on your pace. For your safety, we ask that all walk participants gather at the Farmers Market Pavilion to begin the procession. Please do not join the walk from alternate entry points along Riverwalk. 


Click to enlarge.

For many who are unable to participate in the procession, the bridge near Weaver Street Market or the top floor of the Weaver Street Parking Garage provide fantastic views of the stream of lantern lights illuminating Riverwalk.


We will have both restrooms at the Farmers Market Pavilion open for public use, along with an ADA portalet on-site at the event. Additional public restrooms can be found behind the Hillsborough Visitors Center.


In an effort to keep this event safe and ensure we can continue to host public programs like the Solstice Lantern Walk, your consideration of the following is greatly appreciated:


  • In accordance with local town and county heath and safety precautions, masks are not required, but are welcome.

  • Volunteers will be spacing groups along Riverwalk. Please be kind to those sharing their time to keep us safe.

  • Ultimately, we need everyone to be responsible for themselves. Please stay alert and be conscious of and respectful to those around you.

  • If you feel sick, please stay home!


We're so glad for the opportunity to share this special evening with you. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and ensure the continuation of public gatherings!


We LOVE pets, but this is a heavily trafficked event. We ask that, for their safety and the safety of all walk participants, pets are kept at home for this event. Thank you for your understanding!


We can't wait to see you and your lantern creations!

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