SHOP owners in Lismore's CBD are being urged to be part of this year's Lantern Festival by signing up for the Enchanted Windows competition.
"It would be so wonderful if visitors and locals alike could enjoy walking down the brightly lit streets of Lismore at night and feel the sense of community that the Lantern Festival is all about," competition organiser Bonnie Martin said.
The competition, with great prizes on offer, aims to bring the CBD to life after dark for the week leading up to the Lantern Parade on Saturday, June 23.
Bonnie said retail and business staff should start their ideas flowing now, and come up with a creative design for a shop window decoration, featuring a lantern or fairy lights, around either or both of this year's Lantern Parade themes - Harvest, or Dragon (for the Year of the Dragon).
"Even if shops don't use one of our lanterns, or enter the competition, why not string up some fairy lights and leave them lit for the week leading up to the Lantern Parade?
"Or they can dress their windows up to reflect the theme," Bonnie said.
The Lismore Lantern Parade has a limited number of lanterns for hire - stars, diamonds, flowers or hearts.
Bonnie advises early bookings to avoid disappointment.
Special lantern commissions can also be taken by phoning LightnUp, Lismore's lantern workshop, on 6622 6333
Lismore City Council's tourism manager Mitch Lowe said the Lantern Festival was Lismore's iconic, signature event.
"It really does put Lismore on the map on the state and national level," he said.
"I'd encourage all Lismore business owners, to get behind it.
"And particularly the shops in the CBD, I'd urge them to showcase this great event in our town, decorate their windows with lanterns and make a good show for the visitors who'll be coming into town.
"It's an event that's very much worthy of everyone's support."
Shop windows will be judged on Tuesday June 19 at 6pm.
A People's Choice Award will be held this year for the first time, details will be announced shortly.
For more competition details, phone Bonnie, Monday to Wednesday, on 0438 458 628.
And check out the Lantern Festival's new website at lantern