Wray Avenue March of the Lanterns Festival 2013

It’s getting close to that time of year again that we’re organising the March of the Lanterns community festival for Wray Avenue.

We want to coincide it with Earth Hour again, which is on Saturday 23 March this year – so save the date!

Bruce Abbott has kindly allowed us to use Replants to have a little get together this Wednesday 30 January from 7pm to see if anyone has any new ideas and to look at ways of sharing the coordination. We always love to see new faces, so don’t be shy.

Also, bring a plate as it’s always great to share food!

I also realised that I never posted anything after the event last year to say how great it was and to show the photos. I think Emma and I were exhausted, plus involved in work at the Fairbridge Festival immediately after then running a Living Smart course.

So, in belated summary, it was a great success. It rapidly evolved from our original idea in a very short space of time and the organic nature of the final event really floored me. I reckon we had around 200 people at the event throughout the day. I was astonished to see how many children lived nearby!

In particular our lantern designs developed and a huge (belated) thanks goes to Bec Massey for her instruction in making lanterns – if you need a professional to instruct groups of people I highly recommend hiring her services. As a result all sorts of crazy shaped lanterns were made.

A very sad part of the night was finding out that Vincenzina Galati had been taken to hospital with a heart problem, so we made a lantern for her and covered it with well-wishing messages (you can see it in the pictures below). The Galati family were very generous donating some food to the festivities. We were very relieved to learn that Vincenzina recovered.

We had three wonderful musical acts (Stuart Orchard; Dave Robertson, Rachel Armstrong and “Merle”; and The Dream Tree Collective) playing on the corner of Wray and Brennan.

During Earth Hour we asked all residents to turn off all electrical devices besides their fridges and demonstrated how we can have community and really enjoyable leisure without relying on electricity.

To finish, we were led on a beautiful march by the Dream Tree Collective up Breanna Street, through the primary school,  back along Attfield and then down the middle of Wray.

All this happened without shutting down the avenue. Everything was kept just the way it always is, with the community making use of our space, just the way it should always be!

This year I’d love to replicate it with a clearer sustainability focus, even more local music, a range of food and even more lantern making and decoration.

Oh, and here’s the best pictures of the 2012 event.

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