about the lantern parade

So much more than a parade...

The Lismore Lantern Parade is an annual community arts festival held on or around the longest night of the year, being the Winter Solstice. It is recognised as the signature event for the City of Lismore along with the North Coast National.

In 2017 we celebrate 23 years of bringing light to the heart of the city on Saturday, June 24, and our theme is 'An homage to the humble bee'; a celebration of all things beeish across the whole festival.

Event themes are drawn from community sentiment and stories, creating a strong sense of place and ownership. The lantern parade involves participants from throughout the Northern Rivers and visitors to the region who have attended workshops in lantern, mask and costume making, the finale show, carnival dance and the parade bands.

The Lismore Lantern Parade attracts more than 30,000 people each year and provides a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. The festival celebrates community, art and nature with arts, crafts, workshops, regional cuisine, a spectacular parade, lanterns, parade bands, street theatre, music, carnival dancers, illuminated puppets, fire art and pyrotechnics and much, much more.

Lanterns, fire and outdoor celebration are deeply embedded in many cultures from China, Japan, Burma and Vietnam to Europe and Africa. The lantern represents a positive metaphor for community optimism and hope throughout the world and it was from this tradition that the Lismore Lantern Parade was born. The universal and multicultural theme makes the Lantern Parade appealing to people from all walks of life and nationalities.

School and community workshops start at Easter. Workshops for feature lantern making and sponsored community lanterns are held by arrangement. For many years, participants in very successful Work for the Dole (WFD) projects have contributed in a major way to the lantern parade. The WFD programs have morphed into other projects and participants continue to find a place in the lantern workshop. Many other volunteers travel from across the Northern Rivers region, South East Queensland, around NSW, South Australia and Victoria to participate in this event.

The Lantern Parade has a wonderful network of lantern and fire event friends that spread across the country and many travel to Lismore each year to work on the Lismore Lantern Parade but this event would not be possible without the support of our local community, volunteers and sponsors. Thank you everyone!

A very special mention and sincere thanks to Neil and Faridah Cameron who have been vital in the development of the Lismore Lantern Parade and LightnUp Inc. Their inspiration, wisdom and generosity have been so very important to the staff and all those involved in the lantern parade – thank you.

The Lismore Lantern Parade and LightnUp Inc acknowledges the Bundjalung Nation on whose land we walk and celebrate.

Happy 23rd year celebrations and we look forward to many more fabulous parades to come…


Jyllie Jackson

Artistic Director/CEO

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