Feast of Lanterns

Supporting the growth of a community tradition

I helped organize and throw the twentieth Feast of Lanterns on August 26th in Indianapolis’s Spades Park. The event drew over 10,000 Indianapolis residents and earned tens of thousands of dollars in revenue for local businesses.

Families gathered on the lawn in front of the stage.
Friends and families eating at communal tables underneath Edison bulbs.

While I had volunteered during setup and teardown in previous years, this was my first year as a member of the organizing committee. Along the way, I was able to leverage my experience in startups to solve problems and manage projects.


My main responsibility is providing organizational and logistical support for the rest of the team by maintaining our digital toolkit.

I inherited administration of the Google Workspace account from a departing founding organizer, ensuring that everyone on the team had access to an essential toolkit of email, calendar, and shared cloud storage.

When we needed a way to accept donations in-person, I researched point-of-sale systems and presented a short-list of options to the team. Together, we picked the solution that was the best fit for our needs and has continued to serve us well.

I started and maintained a Notion workspace to create a single source of truth to help track and visualize our progress towards hosting the festival. I also helped seed our Canva account with fonts, graphics, and templates.


In addition to soliciting donations from community organizations, I helped streamline and digitize the fundraising workflow. In previous years, the festival received all donations as checks in the mail.

Using Stripe, I created a simple system that invoices donors and provides them with a web-payment option.

I also set the festival up with GiveButter to provide a pathway to solicit small-dollar donations from community members.

In the future, I’d like to provide a better CRM-style interface for managing the donation process and coordinating action across the team.


Another responsibility I inherited from a departing organizer was ownership of the festival’s website, indyfol.org. This site is hosted on Squarespace, making maintenance and upgrades very straightforward. Ahead of the 2023 event, I refreshed last year’s pages with new copy and images.

I worked to integrate on-page forms with the tools the team was using:

  • I embedded donation buttons from GiveButter, the donation tool used by the organization’s non-profit parent.
  • Squarespace doesn’t provide a mechanism for connecting with a Google Sheet in a shared drive, so I had to glue the form submission together using a Zapier workflow. This provided the opportunity to improve the legibility of the data submitted to the forms, and consolidate each form as a tab in a single sheet.

In the future, I’d like to provide new pathways for attendees and vendors to interact with the organization. Providing a way to collect and display photos of the festival taken by attendees is one idea.


Aside from internal responsibilities, I also took on responsibility for many design tasks. I designed and printed a number of graphic assets for the festival, including the poster and marketing graphics, a visitor’s guide, various site maps detailing layout concerns, and twenty-foot-tall stage banners.


I worked with a local artist, Kate Orr, and commissioned an original painting to serve as the backdrop of our print and social media marketing. For the festival, we worked with a local company to scan and print the poster at high quality to sell to attendees. We now have a piece of merchandise that we can continue selling in years to come.

Site maps

While the organization already had site maps from previous years, they were created with PowerPoint, making them difficult to maintain. I copied site maps into a vector graphics editor, being careful to preserve the scale factor. After copying them, I was able to organize the different layers by sector. This made it much easier to keep the maps updated, incorporate changes on the fly, and export new documents as necessary.

Visitors’ Guides

Close to the festival, I was able to leverage my work on site maps to create a map of the festival for attendees. This was printed affordably on recycled paper and handed out during the event. This provides us another high-visibility sponsorship opportunity and a way to improve the visitor experience of the event.

Visitors’ Guide

The visitors’ guide was designed as a tri-fold. On the inside is a map of the festival grounds and a vendor directory. The exterior featured a cover, a space to thank festival sponsors, and a space to place advertising.

This accompanied an existing map showing how to get to the festival, which I re-drew based on previous years’ assets.

Traffic Map

This map shows the various ways to reach the festival by foot, bike, bus, or car. It was shared on social media ahead of the event.

Stage Banners and Festival Graphics

Since we worked with a new stage vendor in 2023, we needed new graphics to match the dimensions of the stage. I adapted existing assets to create new print graphics for stage, wayfinding signs, and other printables. I managed our relationship with our local print vendor to proof and finish these graphics well ahead of the festival.

Stage Banners

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett opens the festival from the stage.

Making it bilingual

One of the long-standing goals of the festival was to publish their marketing materials for the large population of Spanish speakers who live in Indianapolis. Working with community members on the translation, we was able to publish the posters and maps in Spanish translation, and create a translated version of the website.

This was a big accomplishment for the organization and our ability to make the event welcoming to even more of the east-side community.