Launch a Paper Lantern in Malvern

Paper lanterns will illuminate the sky above Malvern on Nov. 26 during the town’s Wish Lantern Launch. Photo: Malvern Area Betterment Association.

If the weather cooperates, dozens of paper lanterns will rise into the sky above Malvern during its annual Wish Lantern Launch on Nov. 26. You can claim one for yourself, inscribe it with a wish or memorial tribute, and send it into the wild black yonder.

Cheryl Jones with the Malvern Area Betterment Association floated the idea a decade ago and it took off. It’s now an annual tradition on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the designated Iowa Great Place in southwestern Iowa. Folks gather for hot chocolate, holiday carols and a tree-lighting ceremony before the main event.

Jones will be wishing for clear skies that are chilly enough to contrast with the candle-heated lanterns. A not-too-strong breeze helps, too, since volunteers will retrieve the lanterns the next day. “It’s always fun to see how far they go,” she says, “and how many you can find.”

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