San Diego Lantern Festival to light up Little Saigon

The Lantern Festival dates back to the Han Dynasty

The Little Saigon Foundation invites you to celebrate a 2,000 year old tradition in front of Hoover High School from Aug. 17-19. The San Diego Lantern Festival features carnival rides and games, performances, authentic Vietnamese food, live music, the Miss Asia San Diego Pageant and of course, thousands of lanterns. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth.

The festival is part of the Little Saigon Foundation’s goal to brand City Heights as an exciting cultural destination for families to eat and play. To help with the effort, the Foundation mentors up to 250 youth each year, most coming from Hoover High, in marketing, project management, and leadership. The youth volunteer up to 150 hours a year participating in community-driven projects. The Lantern Festival is a chance for the volunteers to put their skills to use and preserve their Vietnamese culture.

Foundation President Frank Vuong says events such as the Lantern Festival, Chinese New Year, and a taste of Little Saigon, all promoted by the Foundation, are opportunities to help the Vietnamese community progress from refugees to immigrants to second generation Vietnamese Americans. He says the projects are building the leaders of the future.

This year is the fourth annual event, and organizers expect more than 20,000 people to attend. Opportunities exist for vendors to participate.

To learn more about the schedule of events, visit the festival’s website at