WOW! THE LANTERN FESTIVAL PACKS THEM IN! They came from all the islands and the mainland to the Union Street Resilience ‘Hub’ and sports fields. There were markets galore, lots of food, wonderful music and, of course, those lanterns! Clearly island school children played a great part in the success of the event bringing along the lanterns they had been making in the lead up to the event. You could see pride in their young faces as they lined up for the ‘Parade of Lanterns’ that extended right around the Russell Island tennis and basketball courts, led by a colourful and well lit ‘crocodile’. You name it, and it became a lantern for this special event. Unlike the very first in 2021, the 2022 late afternoon and night event was blessed with brilliant weather that was even quite ‘balmy’ compared to its predecessor year (bitterly cold in 2021) At the end of the parade, most of the entries were laid at the base of the ‘Lantern Tree’ Other trees were lit with fairy lights and it was a delight to behold. Brisk business was done at the many markets at the LUMI event. School and fishing club stalls and food and drink outlets were kept ‘flat out’ for the entire night. Island representatives Cr Mark Edwards and MP Kim Richards gave the event a huge ‘thumbs up’. “It was a triumph for the Bay Islands Multi Sports group,” Cr Edwards said. “The fishing club and the Russell Island School played their part in keeping the masses attending, happy and fed,” said State MP Kim Richards. BIMSARA President Leah McKenzie said the night and the event was a ’triumph’. “It was designed for island families, and that’s how it turned out. “A great time was had by all.” “From BIMSARA’s point of view, we are just delighted,” the President said. The ‘piece de resistance’ of the night were the outstanding fairy lights in the trees and the wonderful community fire that was overseen by the Russell Islands Volunteer Fire Brigade.