SPI Commissioners Deny Lantern Festival Permit

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – After just one year, the Lantern Festival on South Padre Island is over.

Commissioners voted five Thursday to one to deny the permits for the event.

The South Padre Island police chief spoke against the festival, because of the fire hazard the lanterns pose when landing.

SPI resident Tommy Saenz said he found about five lanterns that had not degraded near the convention center months after the festival.

He said by banning the festival this year, SPI officials are staying true to the goal to keep Texas beaches clean.

“It’s got the bamboo ring which could easily get caught on a dolphin, marine life, it’s got nylon string. There’s more nylon under here and it could kill marine life, turtles, dolphins, shore birds whatever it may be not good for the environment,” said Saenz.

He added that local residents aren’t trying to discourage new events from coming to SPI, but that this one did more harm than good.


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