Lantern parade lights up Lismore
LISMORE lit up on Saturday night when the 16th lantern parade made its way through the centre of town.
More than a kilometre long, the parade featured hundreds of handmade lanterns, big and small.
With clear skies, a partial eclipse in progress and mild winter weather, festival co-ordinator Jyllie Jackson said it was one of the biggestparades yet.
“The town was pumping,” Ms Jackson said.
“Lismore has never seen such energy.
“It shows that anything is possible.”
More than 1000 people took part in the parade, which started in Magellan Street and finished at Riverside Park, with local schools and community groups represented.
This year's crowd was estimated to be about 10,000 and the theme of the parade was The Seeds of Tomorrow.
Following the parade was the fiery finale, watched by thousands in the park and hundreds more from theBallina Road bridge.
The finale was opened by Bundjalung elder Aunty Irene and Lismore mayor JennyDowell.
It was kicked off by carnival drumming group the Samba Blisstas and featured a spectacular display by fire artists.
A fiery flock of fire birds, a mandala, pyramids, a giant Venus of Willendorf figure and a huge bonfire lit up the skies during the finale, which finished with a display of fireworks over the Wilsons River.
Lanterns from the parade were positioned aroundRiverside Park to create anilluminated garden whichpeople were able to walk through.
The parade was followed by a night street party featuring Melbourne's gypsy punk sensation Barons of Tang.
The first lantern parade, which attracted a few hundred people, came about in response to community concerns about antisocial behaviour and economic decline in Lismore's CBD. Thatparade was held to ‘light the heart of the city'.
Cr Dowell said the Lismore Lantern Parade was now the city's signature event.
This year's parade was held a week later than usual to coincide with a NORPApresentation called the Earth Petting Zoo.
Ms Jackson thanked every-one who had helped pull this year's parade together on a ‘thimble-sized' budget.