Last night was the annual Lismore Lantern Parade. I have been looking forward to this for months. It is the winter solstice celebration, and an expression of Lismore’s rich creative culture. Last year, we walked down our Lismore hill to enjoy festivities…Elka in the hug-a-bub fast asleep. My Mum and I couldn’t believe how amazing the lanterns were. We were expecting a bunch of kids walking down the street carrying handmade lanterns…but it was far more. There were countless huge light sculptures…of people, animals, fantastical creatures, rainbows, mushrooms. The big brass bands were adorned in colourful sequinned elaborate costume, and there were roller-skaters, fire twirlers…you name it.

Going with Elka this year was a pure joy. She was mesmerised by the crowds of people. And when we stopped to watch a gypsy band Rapskallion Elka danced amongst the crowds of hippies, children and bubbles.

Her little face lit up when the lantern parade began. She must have been listening to the coos of the crowd, because everytime a lantern appeared she uttered an “Oooh!” or and “Ahhh!”. At some point she even said “Wow!”…It was so cute. Her little arms went in a flap when the bands came marching by. At some point her little feet clad in red leather fur lined boots joined in.

It was an unusually late night for us…we didn’t get home until about 7.30, and Elka demonstrated no signs of heading to bed. She was imitating the drums, and the people who carried the lanterns. She pretended to be a duck in honour of the pelican lantern I think. It was so pleasurable to see her so enthused by the carnivale.

I was going to finish with a photo of the rainbow, courtesy of the Tropical Fruits, which if you get my drift is very Lismore. However, Elka just pulled my memory card out and now it’s broken. Shame.