There's something shady about Colorado's popular lantern festival

The Colorado Motor Speedway in Dacono, where the event was originally held in October, did not have it on the calendar this weekend.

DENVER - It's looking dim for The Lantern Fest.

The sold out event was rescheduled from October to this weekend in Dacono, just north of Denver, and Fountain, south of Colorado Springs.

Or was it?

Next is shining a light, (get it…lantern, light…forget it…) on what we found out.

First, some history. The Lantern Fest was held in October at the Colorado Motor Speedway in Dacono. The Saturday event sent hundreds of lanterns into the sky. There was at least one report of a lantern starting a small fire, but nothing major. Stronger winds and concern for fire stopped the lanterns from being lit and sent off on that Sunday, so the event was postponed.

It was rescheduled for Nov. 6, but that was then postponed as well.

A ticket holder sent us a screen grab of a second notice that said the event was moved to April 2017.

"We first got an email saying it was canceled for November, and we got another email saying it was canceled again for April and to stay tuned for details. On their Facebook group, that's where they changed the date to April 8," said Danielle Tran. "Monday they canceled the Facebook event. No emails have been sent out. They just canceled the Facebook event and just said go to this new event."

The new event Tran is referring to, is a new post about a Sept. 30 Denver/Colorado Springs event at one location, but the one location has not been selected yet.

While ticket-holders for The Lantern Fest thought that they had a show this weekend, Next found out that they really didn't.

The Colorado Motor Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain did not have the event on the calendar for Saturday.

Mountain Vista Fire Protection District, which protects the Colorado Motor Speedway, was not involved in any discussion about an April 8 date.

The Fountain Fire Department also said it was not planning on any event on Saturday at PPIR.

"They have not contacted me," said Fountain Fire Inspector Mark Stanwood. I have not been in contact with the organizers of The Lantern Fest about any upcoming events in the last 6 months."

Fountain Fire would have staffed the event with two or three fire trucks, six brush trucks, a structure engine and an ambulance.

He said he requires a meeting 30 days out, and he checked the group's website one month ago, but there was no reference to an event at PPIR.

Next talked with the organizer of The Lantern Fest, who said he still plans on having one joint event at a larger venue between Denver and Colorado Springs.

The event is running out of time and space in Colorado. The 2015 International Fire Code banned sky lanterns. According to Stanwood, Fountain is still under the 2012 International Fire Code which allows sky lanterns. Once the department adopts the 2015 code, which is expected around June, sky lanterns will be banned.

If you're curious, the fire code defines sky lanterns as:

"An unmanned device with a fuel source that incorporates an open flame in order to make the device airborne."

Sky lanterns are also banned in Fountain unless the organizer has fireworks and burn permits, there are no burn restrictions in place and the humidity is greater than 30 percent with wind less than 10 miles per hour.

To get a refund, The Lantern Fest organizer told us to tell you to email info@thelanternfest.com. Provide some basic detail about your purchase, so you don't end up in a back and forth about whether or not you really bought tickets.

If you bought your ticket through the website, it likely took you to an Eventbrite page. Here is how you can request a refund from that website.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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