Image: Photography by Natsky


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lismore lantern parade

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Lismore Lantern Parade is an annual community event held on or around the longest night of the year, being the Winter Solstice.


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 travelling 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 Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), the Lismore Regional Gallery, the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music and the grass roots arts organisation Creative Lismore.


2020 program

Focused on the Lismore Quadrangle, a public meeting square in the heart of the city centre,

the 2020 event will be held on Saturday 20 June. Commencing at 11am with a very special Welcome to Country, unique art and craft market, street food vans, children’s activities, a youth hub, Buskers’ Festival, workshops, lantern decorating and a festival stage featuring regional musicians and dancers. At dusk illuminated cut outs come alive in the Lismore Library windows telling the stories of the year’s theme. The Lantern Parade dances through the streets of the Lismore central business district and down to the magical riverside culminating in a fiery theatrical finale and fabulous firework display.  The Fiery Finale will be live streamed to the Quad so that everyone can share in the celebration. The party continues on into the evening with music, dance and performance and a fabulous Feast on the Gallery Lawns in the Quad.


New program events include a series of bee, honey and flower themed workshops and talks in the weeks leading up to the festival, a Carpark Carnival, a honey and flower themed fantasy feast after the parade and a bee-autiful art exhibition at the Lismore Regional Gallery.


The Lismore Friendship Festival's Piazza in the Park will be held on Sunday 21 June from am-3pm creating a fabulous weekend festival of activities.​

2020 theme

This year's theme is “Bee the change….”  everything ‘beeish’ and their place in our environment, with the sub text ‘bees are the new canary in the mine.’


In recent times the bee been subjected to extreme threat from toxic chemicals, drought and more recently bushfire. Bees are essential within the eco systems of our bushland, wild life and agricultural industries, and therefore life on this planet.


The festival this year celebrates the BEE – from bee, flower and beehive lanterns made by school children, to workshops on how to support our bees under threat from drought and bushfire. And workshops on bee friendly flowers and trees we can grow in our gardens and farms.