To get public participation in the arts and to create lanterns for the Creamery Festival of August 23-25, 2013, a series of 37 lantern building workshops were held. The lantern building workshops were held in the Creamery District and at other local sites — Fortuna, Eureka, Blue Lake, McKinleyville and Arcata. Over 500 people participated in the lantern workshops.
At the workshops participants created two different kinds of lanterns. The first type of lantern employed a balloon to create the structure of the lantern. It was then decorated with colored tissue paper that corresponded with the five different elements; fire, water, air, earth and spirit. Hundreds of these types of lantern were created by the community for the festival. The second type of lantern uses thin bamboo to create a frame for the lantern. This frame could be shaped into something as simple as a cube or into something as complicated as a puffer fish. Some of the complex lanterns that were made include huge carrot, a giant campfire, mushrooms, sea turtle, blue bird, banana slug and the earth.