Sister city soaks up Lismore's light
LISMORE'S sister city of Yamato Takada in Japan sure chose a good weekend to come visit us.
There may well have been a change of venue for the finale of this year's Lantern Parade but that didn't stop a record crowd of over 30,000 from attending the city's biggest event of the year.
Parade organiser Jyllie Jackson congratulated those involved and was "thrilled with the community support”, with more than $12,000 raised from the army of bucketeers out on the night collecting donations in support of the event.
This year's theme saw the Quad lit up as a winter wonderland as children ran about and families sat on picnic rugs to enjoy a meal and watch the fiery finale.
The streets were lined, in some places five thick, with spectators taking in the colour, light, laughter and community spirit that has become synonymous with our lanterns on display.
This year, however, another demographic also took pride of place enjoying the Heartbeat of the SCU and Northern Rivers Conservatorium sponsored stage.
Ms Jackson could be seen dancing in the carpark at the end of the fiery finale, finally letting go after another successful homage to the winter solstice.
She, and her performers, concluded the show with the words 'IMAGINE” in flames.
For imagine they did, and then they pulled it off.
The chilly 1°C temperatures did nothing to cool the mood, with street vendors keeping up with the hungry demands of the crowd.
A giant fireworks display ended the parade part of the night as the crowd swivelled towards the stage to listen to The Voice finalist and SCU alumnus Holly Tapp.
Upstairs at the gallery, the mayor of Yamato Takada, Mr Yoshida, and his delegates from Japan were given the VIP treatment as Geoff Hannah showed off the hidden wonders of his world renowned Hannah Cabinet.
"It was a miracle,” Mr Yoshida said.
"Amazing, and all made by just one man.”