Lantern finale to light up oval

COMMUNITY EVENT: A young participant waves to the crowd at last year’s Lantern Parade.
COMMUNITY EVENT: A young participant waves to the crowd at last year’s Lantern Parade.

MOVING the finale of the Lantern Parade from the riverbank to the car park behind the library last year cost an extra $30,000 and has put organiser LightnUp Inc in a dire financial position.

Incessant wet weather in the lead up to the event meant the riverbank site was too wet to use and a decision was made to reverse the route of the parade and move the finale.

"We had got things pretty schmick at the riverbank, but there was no infrastructure in the car park so we had all these extra expenses, like it cost $5000 just to get the power on, which we hadn't bargained for at all," director Jyllie Jackson said.

"We have had to borrow money to make sure our bills were paid, which we can't do anymore."

So a decision has been made to move the finale, permanently, to Oakes Oval and to sell tickets to ensure the long-term viability of the event.

"Oakes Oval offers covered seating and all the infrastructure we need," Jyllie said.

"Everyone will be able to see the parade and the finale brilliantly now.

"It breaks my heart that we have to move from the river, but we can't take the risk anymore."

Jyllie said tickets would be $10 for the pavilion, $7 for other seating and kids on knees would be free.

"The way Lismore can support us is by buying a ticket, getting in early and coming along," Jyllie said.

"If Lismore wants their lantern parade, people have to get behind it."

LightnUp is a not-for-profit organisation based in Lismore that holds workshops and events throughout eastern Australia, with most of the money they make going towards funding the Lismore Lantern Parade.

Jyllie said "about 15%" of the Lantern Parade budget - excluding volunteer labour - came from Lismore City Council.

Some other money comes from grants and sponsorship, but she said "it's hard being an arts organisation with an ethical conscience".

Last year they passed up money from energy company AGL because of their involvement in CSG mining, and in the past 12 months they have knocked back offers from McDonalds and Coca-Cola.

"That's the dilemma we're constantly put in... the community would be unhappy if we accepted it," she said.

Jyllie said they would soon initiate crowd sourcing projects through and

Trivia night

The first fundraising initiative for LightnUp will be a trivia night at the Gordon Pavilion at Oakes Oval on Friday, April 5.

Echo columnist S Sorrensen will be MC and there will be games, raffles and prizes throughout the night.

Tickets are $25, which includes finger food. Tables of eight can be booked through Caddies Coffee and Tea Shop in Carrington St or on 6622 3346.

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