MORE than 30,000 people are expected to converge on Lismore today for the city's iconic Lantern Parade, which this year celebrates its 20th birthday.
The cosmic theme this year, Twenty Light Years On, is inspired by parallels between the parade's own birthday and the Earth-like planet Gliese 581, 20 light years away from us.
In a fitting tribute, an 8m high lantern - inspired by the sun rising over Mt Warning - will go up in flames tonight at Oakes Oval.
And while the parade and finale are the obvious stars of the event, there's plenty more to enjoy.
The winter solstice celebration has evolved into an all-day festival inspired by the nature, art and community of the region, with other highlights the Viking Village on Jolly Field, plenty of live music and market stalls with arts, crafts and local food.
Then, when the last flames have gone out at Oakes Oval, the merriment will continue in Lismore's Back Alley Gallery, with live music and dancing to continue until 11.30pm.