THE LISMORE LANTERN PARADE
Lismore Lantern Parade is an annual community event held on or around the longest night of the year, being the Winter Solstice. In 2019 the event will celebrate its 25th anniversary to the event theme ‘Rivers of Light’ representing all the community events that the Lantern Parade has travelled to over the years. These communities will be invited back to the heart to celebrate this grand occasion. The event attracts approximately 25,000 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.
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 Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), the Lismore Regional Gallery and the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music.
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 travelling from across the Northern Rivers region, South East Queensland, around NSW, South Australia and Victoria to participate in this event.
In 2019 the event will be held on Saturday 22 June commencing at noon with a unique art and craft market, street food vans, children’s activities, a youth hub, workshops, lantern decorating and a festival stage featuring local musicians and dancers. At dusk illuminated puppets in the Lismore Library tell the story for the year and the Lantern Parade dances through the streets of the Lismore central business district (CBD) and culminates at the Lismore Quadrangle, a public meeting square in the heart of the city centre, for a fiery theatrical finale and fabulous firework display. The event continues on into the evening until 9pm with music, dance and performance.
New program events include a Gala Concert featuring Moorambilla Voices, a banquet dinner, photographic exhibition at the Lismore Regional Gallery and a celebration on Sunday at dusk for a flotilla of canoes, kayaks, tinnies and rowing boats covered with lanterns to meander along the Wilson’s River. The Lismore Lantern Parade partners with the Viking Village Winter Solstice and the Lismore Friendship Festival to create a weekend festival of activities.