Crowds turned out in the thousands to watch the 25th Lismore Lantern Parade march down the main streets of Lismore ending in a fiery finale at the Quad in 2019. Photo: Marc Stapelberg
Crowds turned out in the thousands to watch the 25th Lismore Lantern Parade march down the main streets of Lismore ending in a fiery finale at the Quad in 2019. Photo: Marc Stapelberg

Virus won’t stop Lismore’s Lantern Parade

The Lismore Lantern Parade will be celebrating it 26th anniversary this year but in very different style.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the traditional parade through the CBD has been cancelled, but technology permitting an online ZOOM “parade” will take place at 6pm on June 20 with details of how people can log in still being finalised.

“The technology is a huge challenge, but we already have friends and followers all over the world, especially in the US and UK,” said festival organisor Jyllie Jackson.

“We have postponed the ‘actual’ lantern parade, but it felt important to celebrate the Longest Night of the year, which has for eons been symbolic of optimism, especially in our community where people have great ownership of the festival - it is an occasion when all the community can come together.”

The parade has been selling simple lantern kits on-line and at the Lismore Farmers’ Market since early May which people can decorate or make one from scratch.

There will also still be the ‘Enchanted Windows’ displays with Lismore CBD businesses having their lantern display photographed by NATSKY and uploaded online.

Lantern Parade map around the Lismore CBD.
Lantern Parade map around the Lismore CBD.

LightnUp’s fabulous feature lantern pop ups will feature around the CBD on the night from 5.30pm - 7.30pm and create a drive through Lantern Parade.

“We hope to share our light across the world – there has been so much sadness and suffering,” Ms Jackson said.

“Zoom Parade will be probably be linked to households and street events,”’ she said.

“We have only had a few schools this year, and they have made about 100 lanterns, usually around 40.

“We have been limited by our resources and volunteers and of course school lock downs until very recently.

“We will keep adding to our collage as people send us photos.”

She said they had been quietly working away in the Lantern Workshop, with their core crew fixing lanterns, sorting stuff and making several hundred little kits to send around the country by post.

“This has been an amazing learning curve – writing instructions on how to make a pyramid lantern from scratch has given me a whole new respect for Flat Pack furniture designers.”

“This is the first time the Lantern parade has not gone ahead, so the Virtual Events is important to keep the spirit alive,” she said.

“Even so it is incredibly sad, and like so many community organisations we are facing a pretty daunting future.”

Donations can be made to the fundraising account at the Summerland Credit Union -LightnUp Incorporated and a crowdfunding website is set to open soon.