2019 Piazza In The Park - Lismore Friendship Festival.
2019 Piazza In The Park - Lismore Friendship Festival. Sophie Moeller

Here's to the next 25 years of light and friendship

IT is hard to believe last weekend's Lantern Parade was my fourth. Same thing with Piazza In The Park.

I remember in 2016 driving into Lismore thinking I'd better get there early to get a parking space, and then thinking, wow, living in Regional Australia is the go: I parked literally right next to where the the fiery finale was taking place.

The following day was the same. I parked right next to Lismore City Bowling Club and slowly walked my parents-in-law into Spinks Park where it seemed like a couple of hundred people were seated enjoying their Italian food and music in front of the Rotunda.

Cut to this past weekend. I drove for ages before finding a car space - on both days. Eventually, I found a borderline legal park near City Hall for The Parade where it is said 30,000 people took over The Quad.

On the Sunday, food stalls, struggling to keep up with the numbers at the Friendship Festival, took over the carpark in front of the Bowlo.

With over 4000 people to feed, there was no easy parking there.

Bravo Lismore, your pulling power is immense, and it is getting bigger.

I spoke to one family who had come up from Maitland. Even the Italian government is paying attention, with a delegation up for Lismore's big fiesta weekend.

But the real recognition this year needs to go to Jyllie Jackson.

The Lantern Parade celebrated 25 years.

I think we can safely say, it's been a success. Here's to the next 25 years of light and friendship.