NOW in its 20th year, the iconic and award-winning Lismore Lantern Parade is asking the community to help to secure its future and light its way home.
Parade’s founder Jyllie Jackson said LightnUp, the community arts organisation that stages the annual Lantern Parade, was told last year that it had to leave its rented premise after 12 years.
“After months of fruitless searching for a suitable home, the only option to ensure the parade continues for another 20 years was to buy our own home,” she said. “Our dream is to secure a permanent home and keep the light shining bright for lantern parades in Northern NSW and around Australia.”
“Today we are asking the community to support us by donating money to our new home. We need to raise $50,000 immediately just to repay loans for the deposit and essential renovations on our new workshop, and then $180,000 to pay off the mortgage and ensure the light lives on.”
Some of the money is being raised through crowd funding www.chuffed.org/project/lismorelanterns/ or simply go to the Lantern Parade website www.lanternparade.com and click on “Light our way home”.
“The council, local businesses and suppliers assist the Lantern Parade every year with sponsorship and other resources, however, like many community organisations, LightnUp weaves its magic on a shoe-strong budget,” Jyllie said.
“After the exhaustive search proved fruitless, and given the high costs and scarcity of rental problems, it made sense for us to secure our own premises.”
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell described the annual event as truly iconic.
“The move to Oaks Oval and the thousands who come really show how special the Lantern Parade it,” she said. “We really need to keep it as it’s intrinsically linked to Lismore. Sure it has regional and even national reach, but it’s ours.”
Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan is urging all residents and businesses to kick in to the fundraising campaign and light the parade’s way home.
“About 30,000 people fill the Lismore CBD every year to watch the 3000 lantern carriers. All of us, at some stage, have proudly taken visiting family and friends to the parade,” Mr Hogan said.
“Now it’s time for us to give back, so please go to the website and donate to this campaign.”