OPINION: Could we make the lantern parade even better?
OF all the festivals on the Northern Rivers, I think Lismore's Lantern Parade has the most heart.
It runs on the smell of an oily rag and yet it is a magical night which keeps getting better and better with each passing year.
First and foremost the standard of the lanterns is quite spectacular and there is more depth to them as the collection grows.
In terms of community engagement, this festival works on many levels.
It involves so many groups, schools and non profits in our community and it gets people out there, whether it be carrying a lantern, to mums and dads marching through the streets with their kids.
From a spectator's point of view, it is easy to get to, park and see.
This year, I had a child taking part in the march and was so impressed with the way the Lantern Parade organises everyone into their groups before the event kicks off.
Behind the scenes it is calm and highly organised.
I also want to commend the many shops, bars and restaurants that remained open for the parade. With an estimated crowd of about 30,000 people, I hope you made plenty of money as well.
The Lantern Parade is a beautiful, home-spun, organic festival which is far from slick, but spectacularly effective.
You can only wonder what would happen if it ever snagged a major naming rights sponsor.
For example, if the fiery finale ended with a big bang fireworks show to rival Sydney's New Year's Eve display. Or, if there was a concert with a really notable name playing.
For now, it is fine just the way it is. But imagine how good it could be with some corporate backing.