Well-wishers lit candles and released the symbolic glowing lights after the girl's parents asked for her to be remembered one week on from her disappearance.
It is believed Coral Jones, 40, and husband Paul, 44, released their own Chinese lantern from their garden in Machynlleth, in mid-Wales.
Their private remembrance came hours after the five-year-old's alleged killer was remanded by magistrates.
A police van carrying former lifeguard Mark Bridger was attacked and he was sworn at by an angry crowd as he was taken to and from Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court.
The 46-year-old cried in the dock as he was remanded for the alleged murder and abduction of the schoolgirl.
He will appear by videolink tomorrow at Caernarfon Crown Court. He also faces charges of unlawfully disposing of and concealing her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.
April was last seen near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in Machynlleth last Monday evening. Bridger was arrested the following day, but the search for April goes on.
The five-year-old was last seen getting into what is believed to have been a Land Rover Discovery.
Mr and Mrs Jones had allowed her to play out late as a treat for receiving a glowing school report that day at a parents' evening, which Bridger also attended. Bridger, who owns a Discovery, was arrested last Tuesday afternoon and was charged on Saturday.
The case sparked an outpouring of support for April's parents, with hundreds of people joining in the search and offering their assistance.
Mountain rescue teams have now been stood down as the search operation switched emphasis.
But the hunt continues, with investigating officers doubling the number of police on the ground.
Night-time search efforts have been suspended but the shift in manpower is being described as a change of "resources rather intensity".
Superintendent Ian John, who was in court for Bridger's hearing, paid tribute to mountain rescue volunteers "who have worked themselves to a standstill in the search".
Mr John, who has led the search for the missing schoolgirl, said: "We are upping our numbers to 18 teams which will be over 100 officers."