Therese Hoare, of Brunswick Heads, volunteers at the Lantern Parade workshop in Lismore.
Therese Hoare, of Brunswick Heads, volunteers at the Lantern Parade workshop in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

A 'different kind of story' for Lismore Lantern Parade

DESPITE several setbacks, more than a thousand lanterns will light up Lismore in a few short weeks, turning it into a 'wonderland'.

This year, the Lismore Lantern Parade, which usually stages a performance at the finale of the parade in Oakes Oval, will end at The Quad.

The event lost $23,000 due to the non-availability of Oakes Oval for this year's parade which nearly stalled the event, but a creative idea came just in time.

The Wonderland theme came about when event organiser Jyllie Jackson was sitting in The Quad, enjoying a coffee: "I looked at this space and thought, we can do it here and we are going to turn it into a wonderland.”

And this year despite the late changes, organisers are "pulling out all the stops”.

"The parade route is basically the same except there's extra room for people to have a look,” Ms Jackson said.

"What is new is the festival will be focused around The Quad and Magellan Street and in the carpark.

"It's going to be a very different kind of story.”

Jumping castles and food stalls will line the streets on the evening. As for the finale - get ready for some fire.

"It's not going to be a big show because there isn't room,” Ms Jackson said, but it will be impressiveness nonetheless.

"(The) special feature will be all about fire,” she said.

"We will have a bonfire in a very beautiful creation with close proximity fireworks on it.”

There will be some chairs at the event, but parade organisers said most people will be sitting on the ground, so bring your picnic rugs.

However, two big screens will show what's happening despite where you are.

"During the day there will be lots of activity's here in the quad, with a magic wishing tree for the kids.

"There will also be stalls and food around.

"We havent got everything happening in the CBD so there will be activities happening in the laneway's as part of the youth hub, with art room and the Back Alley Gallery and stalls, food, painting and music before the parade comes through.”

As the event was not ticketed this year, organisers are asking for donations so they can do it all again next year for the 25th anniversary.

They are looking for about 100 bucketeers, but so far have less than half that.

"We are also looking for homes for a lot of lanterns if people want to foster a big lantern,” Ms Jackson said.

Visit www.lanternparade.com or call (02) 6622 6333 for more.


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