Quirindi Country Tennis Club came alive on Sunday evening when dozens of Quirindi Preschool children and their families united together for the ‘Parade of Lights’ lantern walk event.
The primary activity for the evening began at 6.30pm following a barbecue dinner. Attending families preceded around the Tennis Club gardens, following a glowing lantern trail that illuminated their path through the dark.
According to event organiser Camilla DuBois, the purpose of the night was for children from Quirindi Preschool to catch a sense of wonder, magic and enchantment.
“By making their own lanterns and proceeding through the lighted path, children were able to access and experience that special part of childhood that is magical,” she explained. “Parade of Lights is meant to be a family community event so that everybody, including parents, can reminisce in that same feeling.”
Lantern walk events like ‘Parade of lights’ are quite popular around the world for various cultural and entertainment purposes.
“Lantern walks speak to people in lots of different ways,” explained Camilla. “Some people like them for the sheer aesthetic pleasure they provide whereas other people have ideas about their symbolism, such as celebrating the glow of promise in young children.”
The annual Lismore Lantern Parade, which sees upwards of 30’000 attendance each year, was a major inspiration for ‘Parade of Lights’ in Quirindi. Parade of Light organisers put plenty of effort into the venture to ensure that its inaugural event set a high standard for future events.
“It’s very much a community project. We held workshops to make the larger lanterns so that there was a group sense of ownership in the event and so that it was not just the organisers who were involved in getting it ready,” said Camilla. “All the children made their own lanterns with our help and some parents also made their own.”
Although Parade of Lights was not used as means of raising money for a charity or cause, Camilla expects that if the event continues to grow in the years to come this may be a possibility.
“It’s not a fundraising night although maybe if the event gets bigger it may become so in the future,” she concluded.