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Floating lanterns pet memorial event planned on Lake Whatcom

Floating Lantern Pet Memorial on Lake Whatcom. Photo courtesy of Radiant Heart After-Care for Pets

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — An annual Floating Lantern Pet Memorial on Lake Whatcom is scheduled for the evening of Sunday, September 12th, the day before National Pet Memorial Day. The event features memorial floating lanterns cast out onto the lake at dusk. The event was canceled last year due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

“This event has struck a chord with pet owners in the community,” said Bobbie Ruth Langley, organizer of the event and owner of Radiant Heart After-Care for Pets. “It’s a tangible, meaningful way for grieving pet parents to express their love for a deceased pet and be with other people who are feeling the same way.”

Event participants reserve a lantern cylinder ahead of the event, which they can decorate with their pet’s name, image or other remembrance. The day of the event, the decorated lantern cylinder is affixed to a base and participants walk along a lighted path to the release point on the beach. The path is lit by luminarias and flanked by hand-bell ringers guiding participants to the beach.

Anyone may join to watch the lanterns on the lake, but pet parents who wish to decorate and float a lantern in honor of pets must reserve a lantern in advance. Absentee lanterns are also available to be reserved for those who cannot attend but would like a lantern floated in memory of a pet. Reserved lanterns are $16.00 each.

Langley said she does not anticipate making any profit from the event but any will be donated to a local pet-related charity.

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