The Uralla Lantern Parade is coming together quickly

URALLA LANTERN PARADE: Organisation for the parade is well underway with more than 200 lanterns expected to take part. PHOTO: Uralla Arts.
URALLA LANTERN PARADE: Organisation for the parade is well underway with more than 200 lanterns expected to take part. PHOTO: Uralla Arts.

AS the clock ticks over for Earth Hour, residents of Uralla and surrounding towns will gather together to brighten up the sky.

The Uralla Lantern Festival is a ten year tradition that encourages people of all ages to take place in a colourful parade through the streets.

Uralla Arts spokesperson Bob Anderson said the festival brings the community together.

"It really does put Uralla on the map, I think it’s really one of the things that identifies the community and separates it from other small country towns,” he said.

“For a town that is so small the amount of community involvement, volunteers and people willing to be a part of the parade is quite amazing.”

A basic lantern takes around two hours to make and with the involvement of local schools the festival is expected to see more than 200 lanterns high in the sky.

Students from a number of schools from Kentucky, Bendemeer, Uralla, Rocky River, Kingstown and Armidale have been busy making hundreds of lanterns for the parade.

Workshops are held at St Joseph’s Primary School for students to learn how to create their lanterns.

Community based arts organisation LightnUp from Lismore will also be at the parade, bringing with them a range of large-scale lanterns.

The LightnUp lanterns come in the shape of bees, flowers, snails, watering cans and giant creations – such as the huge possum that has become a permanent fixture of the parade.

Mr Anderson said Uralla keeps the possum, but look forward to seeing what LightnUp will bring to the parade.

“They have a whole collection of huge lanterns, you’ll see anything from dolphins to turtles in the parade and they can take up to four people to carry them,” he said.

“This year we’re hoping to get a lot more people from outside the region.”

For those that haven’t made a lantern, workshops will be held at the Seasons of New England Festival.

The Uralla Lantern Parade leaves at 7:30pm, travels over the Railway Bridge and down King Street, turns left into Maitland and Hill Streets, passes the Police Station and travels into Hampden Park.