HOME AT LAST: Yoko Watson, Barbara James, Jyllie Jackson, Robyn Geddes and Anais Malot. The Lismore Lantern Parade crew is happy to have a new building to move into. Mireille Merlet-Shaw
HOME AT LAST: Yoko Watson, Barbara James, Jyllie Jackson, Robyn Geddes and Anais Malot. The Lismore Lantern Parade crew is happy to have a new building to move into. Mireille Merlet-Shaw Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Lantern parade finds new home but needs your help to stay

THE future might have looked dark for the Lismore Lantern Parade, but the announcement of a new home on Keen St is sure to keep the lights burning.

The parade's founder, Jyllie Jackson, said it took "months and months" of searching to secure the new home.

The parade is held each winter solstice at Lismore and draws up to 30,000 spectators and 3000 participants. This year's will mark its 20th anniversary.

How you can help the Lantern Parade keep its new home

"Originally when we were told we had to leave the building where we'd lived for 12 years, we thought we'd be able to find another quite easily to rent, and it was just impossible," she said.

"There was nowhere in Lismore that was easy to walk to or access that we could either afford or was big enough for all these monster lanterns we've collected over 20 years.

"So we then came and had a look at this building and it was for sale - and it was in budget.

"We jumped in and decided to buy it, which means we now have somewhere long-term."

But with the new home comes new responsibilities.

The community arts organisation behind the annual Lantern Parade, LightnUp, now has to raise $50,000 to repay loans for the deposit and renovations, and then a further $180,000 to pay off the mortgage.

The council, local businesses and suppliers assist the Lantern Parade every year with sponsorship and resources. However, Ms Jackson said more money was needed.

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said Ms Jackson and her team had persevered to keep the lantern parade alight, and now they need help from the community to keep the lanterns burning.

"Jyllie put in some of her own money and now we in the community, who embrace the parade, have to help at least pay the deposit on it," she said.

Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan is also urging businesses and residents to get behind the fundraising campaign.

About the fundraising campaign

  • LightnUp needs to raise at least $50,000 to repay loans for the deposit on its new home and essential renovations. Once that target is reached it needs to raise further funds to cover the cost of the building's purchase price.
  • The organisation is running a fundraiser through chuffed.org
  • LightnUp is asking for donations of between $10 and $100. Any donations of $300 or more will get a mention on the organisation's website.
  • As of this morning, 22 people had donated a total $1812 to the campaign, ranging from two anonymous donations of $1 to two donations of $500 by Amber Gooley and Kerry O'Keefe.
  • More information is available on the Lantern Parade website

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