For one night a year, the Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs offers a display to rival the brightest starry sky. Tonight is the 147th Grand Illumination Night, an event steeped in tradition, fellowship, and magic.

Festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Camp Meeting Association's Tabernacle with a community sing and a concert by the Vineyard Haven Band. There will be a free will offering and guests are encouraged to give what they can.

After the singing and sunset, all the Camp Ground lights will go off, leaving nothing but the glow of thousands of paper lanterns. Per tradition, a longtime Camp Grounder lights the first lantern; the lamp-lighter’s identity is kept a secret until the big moment.

The first lantern will soon be joined by paper lanterns of all shapes, colors, and sizes adorning the Tabernacle and the 350 Victorian gingerbread cottages. Some lanterns have seen decades of Illumination Nights while others are newly-created and ready for their big debut. Thousands of onlookers will stroll around the brightly-lit and brightly-decorated neighborhood as friends and neighbors gather on glowing porches.

By 11 p.m. the Camp Ground will empty out and the lanterns will soon be tucked away for another year.