Lismore students add Mexican spice to lantern parade
RICHMOND River High School will give a distinctive South American flavour to Saturday's Lantern Parade with a giant sugar skull lantern and six decorated umbrellas.
The traditional Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico honours deceased loved ones and will be a poignant addition to the ethereal atmosphere of Lismore's own parade.
Richmond River student Katerine Hill said the student body thought it would be a unique and colourful sight.
"We worked out the make-up in one afternoon and it was a real bonding experience," she said.
There would be 15 students with facepaint and 10 percussionists marching in the parade, which starts in the CBD at 5.30pm.
The popular lantern extravaganza promises to be bigger and better in its 21st year, largely thanks to the involvement of dedicated local people.
There are three times more musical entries in the parade than previous years, and a gypsy-electro after-party will follow the ticketed Fiery Finale at Oakes Oval for the first time.
Festival director Jyllie Jackson said schools including South Lismore Public, Richmond River and Kyogle High would literally be marching to the beat of their own drums for the first time this year.
"We have the Lismore City Pipe Band and the Samba Blisstas, but this year expect to see more community marching bands," she said.
Local sea-shanty scallywags The Button Collective, who got their start at the event some years ago, will return to headline the Carnivale Stage Party in Carrington St, which runs from noon to 9pm.
All Fiery Finale ticketholders will be able to boogie to The Unusual Suspects, a 12-piece streetband, at the after-party.
The band's repertoire includes Balkan gypsy-style pieces exploring dance grooves in varied time signatures.