lismore lantern parade
We are excited to be coming back on 25 June 2022.
1 February 2022
2022 sees the Lismore Lantern Parade celebrate 28 years of bringing light to the heart of our community. In 2019 we celebrated our 25th anniversary, thousands and thousands of people lined the streets and cheered the parade as it danced along. What a wonderful night!
Many of the participants and audience at that Lantern Parade were probably at school or pushchairs themselves for the first parade - what a wonderful inter-generational heritage we have created with our community!
In 2020 we missed so many of you when we were hit by the global pandemic, but we WERE THERE, in the heart of the city with lantern installations, little ‘parades in place’ in gardens, driveways and suburbs, and 100s of people participated on-line in the Virtual Lantern Parade. A Zoom party linked people, many in lock down, from all over Australia, the USA, Canada and UK. Our favourite gardener Costa dropped in for a chat and to see his name sake lantern glowing away in the CBD gardens.
Last year, once again, we had to do a massive pivot and move to The Lismore Show Grounds so that we could meet all the regulations around COVID 19, and keep everyone safe. We were very lucky that just a week later the State went into lockdown.
Thank you to everyone who supported us and made it a very special night, different, but still very special!
Every year it seems we have to change something - flooded parklands, renovating sports fields, always something. We have had to RE-IMAGINE the Lantern Parade every year for the last 6 years. We love the challenge of change it keeps us all on our toes.
2022 will be another exciting and challenging year of change. It looks like we may be coming out of the worst of this pandemic, so we hope to be returning to the HEART of the city for this year's lantern parade!
At the beginning of February we are busy dreaming and planning and will be able to tell you all about the Lismore Lantern Parade - very soon. Stay tuned.
1 May 2022
So, little did we imagine that on February 28, just days after I wrote the update above, our world was turned upside down! Our beautiful city, our entire Northern Rivers region, would be decimated by the greatest flooding event in recorded history! With a second, almost as big, just one month later. Thousands of homes and businesses were inundated and destroyed.
Many thousands of people are left homeless - our hearts are truly broken.
Now, two months later after weeks of dealing with stinking, sticky mud, cleaning, sorting and throwing out thousands of tons of 'rubbish' - people's lives, their hopes and dreams - the streets are still empty and power is still not connected to many homes and businesses. Many folk feel like they are beginning to lose hope.
The light and connectedness of the lantern parade has become even more important.
So we WILL be back on 25 June.
The Lantern Parade's workshop was not spared, with the foul flood water entering the upper level where we had taken so much for safe keeping. The water came into the building 4m higher than it had ever done before. We lost so much of our stock, tools and materials.
But, we had so much help from individuals and groups from all over the region, from Queensland, Victoria, the ADF, RFS, and workers from NORCO - thank you ALL so very much.
We are making progress slowly - the Lismore Lantern Parade will be different once again this year.
A smaller, simpler event honouring the brave people who took to the raging flood waters and saved so many lives, thanking all the good people who have helped in the clean up and bring our community together to begin healing our broken hearts.
The Lantern Parade lost much of their stock of lanterns, tools, furniture and materials we would really appreciate assistance to put this year's Lismore Lantern Parade, see our Donate page on this website
We will be updating the website regularly - as they say 'stay tuned'.
For those of you who are new to the Lantern Parade here is a bit of our story ...
The Lismore Lantern Parade is an annual community event held on or around the longest night of the year, being the Winter Solstice. The first parade was held in 1993 with just a couple of hundred people in the parade. It has grown more and more each year.
The Lismore Lantern Parade has become renown across Australia and beyond.
The event attracts approximately 30,000 people each year and is estimated to contribute $3.4 million to the local economy. With its social, economic and cultural contribution to the City, the event has been formally recognised by Lismore City Council as its Signature Event.
Each year the Lantern Parade involves participants from Lismore, throughout the Northern Rivers and visitors to the region who have attended workshops in lantern, mask and costume making. School and community workshops start at Easter each year with many other volunteers traveling from across the Northern Rivers region, South East Queensland, around NSW, South Australia and Victoria to participate in this event.
The event is held in Lismore, just one-hour south from the Gold Coast, twenty minutes from iconic Nimbin, and thirty minutes inland from popular Byron Bay. It’s home to around 45,000 people and is surrounded by beautiful, lush countryside, pockets of small villages and nestled between World Heritage Rainforest. It’s a city of contrasts and diversity and is known for its links to the agricultural and dairy industries as well as the Northern Rivers centre for business, education, culture, retail, sport and health. It has a strong connection to culture and the arts through partnerships with Southern Cross University, the Lismore Regional Gallery, the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music and the grass roots arts organisation Creative Lismore.
There are some lovely little videos about the lanterns in the "ABOUT" section, do check them out.