Dazzled by the lights

Girl Guide Seana Gray, 9, waits for the grand finale show to begin at Riverside Park after the street parade.
Girl Guide Seana Gray, 9, waits for the grand finale show to begin at Riverside Park after the street parade.

THE 18th annual Lismore Lantern Parade consumed the city on Saturday night, turning the usually quiet, dark streets into a fusion of colourful lights, soft glows and bedazzled children.

Judging by the thunderous applause from the thousands of spectators, the event did not disappoint.

The parade kicked off in Magellan Street and snaked its way to Riverside Park, led by an oversized Pegasus, which was carried by eight white knights.

Various schools, from preschools to high schools, and community groups, including workplaces and activist organisations, all played their part in the parade.

Once the parade reached Riverside Park, a 3.5-metre high volcano – which erupted green fireworks and smoke – took centre stage, followed by a succession of fire-twirling shows and an Aboriginal dance performance.

Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell addressed the crowd of thousands and said the parade was a perfect example of the region's diversity.

“If it was not for the diversity of our community we would be very poor in so many ways,” she said.

“We need to look after each other and this land, which we, other people and animals share. We owe it to our children, as adults, to look after this place.”

Markets selling everything from organic coffee to hand-knitted gloves occupied Carrington Street and Riverside Park.

Local business stayed open beyond usual trading hours to take advantage of the large visitor numbers.

Bentley couple Peter Marsden and Holly Willis attended the event with their three children.

And while it was challenging to keep the little ones seated for a prolonged period of time, Ms Willis was impressed with the event.

“It is awesome for Lismore,” she said. “We did not expect it to be so big. It's great to get so many communities together in the one place.”

Topics:  event jenny dowell lismore lismore lantern parade mayor

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