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our story


For those of you who are new to the Lismore 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. In 2022 a small LightnUp Team travelled to Qatar to teach some artists and teachers to make lanterns in the lead up to the Soccer World Cup.


The event attracts approximately 30,000 people in a "normal" 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 Lismore Lantern Parade is held in Lismore, south from the Gold Coast, 40 mins from iconic Nimbin, and 45 minutes inland from popular Byron Bay.

Lismore is 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 Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music and the grass roots arts organisations.

other lantern events

The Lantern Parade is produced by a community organisation called LightnUp Incorporated. Based in Lismore LightnUp travels all over the the place producing parades, facilitating workshops and presenting fiery outdoor theatre.

Over the years LightnUp artists have traveled all over Australia - from Port Fairy Folk Festival in Victoria to the community of Gapuwyak in the Northern Territory.

Other festivals in which we have participated recently;

Woodford Folk Festival, Dubbo Dream Festival, Luminous, Illuminate Picton, Splendour in the Grass, Floriade.

​There are some lovely little videos about the lanterns here, do check them out

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