Lismore will be glowing this weekend as a sea of lanterns light up the winter skies as part of the annual Lismore Lantern Parade.
With audiences expected to top 25,000 people, organisers said around 3000 volunteers would be involved in the actual parade and Fiery Finale
This year the Lantern Parade is celebrating its 21 birthday, and organisers have included a number of new elements to keep the crowds happy.
Festival director Jyllie Jackson said schools from across the district would be taking part in this year’s parade, along with a record number of musical bands.
‘We have the Lismore City Pipe Band and the Samba Blisstas, but this year expect to see more community marching bands,’ she said.
The Fiery Finale will be held at Oakes Oval, where The Usual Suspects, a 12-piece street band, will be performing at the after party.
Meanwhile, a Viking village will be set up on the corner of Uralba and Dawson Sts as part of this year’s parade.
The village’s activities will mark the Winter Solstice and are courtesy of Rognvald’s Lith, a Dark Age medieval society based in Lismore.
The group re-enacts Viking ways of life in Europe from 800AD to 1100AD.
Ms Jackson said the Lantern Parade would involve participants from throughout the northern rivers and visitors to the region who had attended workshops in lantern, mask and costume making, the finale show, carnival dance and the parade bands.
Throughout the day, buskers and bands will perform in the courtyard of the Conservatorium building in Keen Street, and there will be children’s spaces and markets in various locations around the city blockl.
A street party will run in Carrington Street from midday, and the actual parade will begin at 5.30pm at the corner of Molesworth and Markets streets, with participants ending up at Oakes Oval.
The Fiery Finale at Oakes Oval, which requires a ticket, will feature fireworks, a bonfire and bands.
There will also be entertainment and art in the Back Alley Gallery.