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Lantern festival permit not yet received or approved, Tucson Fire says

TFD says free-floating flame lanterns would not be allowed
Lantern Festival
Posted at 1:23 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 11:31:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A festival of floating lanterns in the sky scheduled for this weekend has not been approved.

The "Light the Night Sky Lantern Festival" is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 19, at Christopher Columbus Park, but the Tucson Fire Department says they still haven't received a permit for the festival, and wouldn't approve the festival as it's being advertised.

"A person shall not release or cause to be released an untethered sky lantern. So we are interpreting that to mean if you host a special event with these sky lanterns that they have to be tethered," said TFD spokesperson Jessica Nolte.

The organizers facebook even shows the festival was originally scheduled for June, pushed back to August and then rescheduled for this weekend.

The option to purchase tickets for the Tucson event doesn't appear to be working on the festival's website, but tickets for other events around the country by "Light The Night" cost up to $75 per person.

A Tucson city spokesperson says they prefer to have permits approved weeks in advance of an event, but on sometimes smaller events can cut it closer. But as of Tuesday afternoon no permit has been received or approved for the Saturday event.

"The city would be in the rights to say hey this event cannot go on, because either you don't have the permit or the permits say they have to be tethered and if they are not tethered than you are not following the use of the permit," said Nolte.

This is a developing story. Stay with KGUN 9 as we gather more information.