Lanterns on the Lagoon is a biennial, one-day festival celebrating community, environment, sustainability and sculpture. Established in 2011, it is set in a park by the Tumut River. It features music, entertainment, food and other family-focused activities. It culminates at dusk with the release of hand-decorated lanterns on to the lagoon and illuminated sculptures bring the park to life. The Festival is held to coincide with the Spring Equinox. Lanterns on the Lagoon was last held on Saturday 21st September 2019.

Lanterns on the Lagoon has become a permanent fixture on the Tumut region’s calendar. The next event will be held in the Spring of 2021 and will be our ten year anniversary.

Our festival is a celebration of the season, rejuvenation and new life, of community and sustainability and of culture and creativity. Lanterns on the Lagoon is a community based, not for profit and volunteer-run festival.

There are four main elements to this festival; an outdoor sculpture competition, live music and entertainment, artisan market and produce stalls and multicultural food and drink stalls as well as the lanterns themselves, which are lit and set afloat on the lagoon at sunset. The festival is held at the Rotary Pioneer Park, on the banks of the Tumut River.

The sculpture competition receives entries from a range of local and diverse artists, as well as community groups, schools and centres. Artworks must be made from reused, recycled or repurposed materials with a strong focus on sustainability. The artworks are situated throughout the parkland between the lagoon and river, allowing the audience to meander through and relate to the artworks in a site-specific and communal way. Artists are encouraged to light their artworks so that as day turns to night, the sculptures take on a new and dynamic nature.

At dusk, lanterns which have been made from recyclable milk bottles and decorated by families and children throughout the day, are lit and launched on to the lagoon. Workshops are held throughout the year to maintain and build new lanterns for the event. Attendees should be on the lookout for old favourites, such as the large lotus flower and new and colourful lanterns depicting flowers, people and animals. 

Artisan and produce market stalls are situated in our Village Square, and live entertainment and music throughout the day give this joyous and vibrant festival a further dimension of active community participation, as attendees wander through the stalls and picnic on the shoreline of the lagoon, enjoying the entertainment and atmosphere. The parkland comes to life with light, colour and creativity around them.

Be a part of it

Looking for a creative outlet or for a way to participate in your community? Join our committee or volunteer at our festival or workshops. Many hands make light work and there is a lot to do to make this non-profit, volunteer-run festival happen. It takes a lot of people from a lot of different places and life paths to make events like this happen.

Contact us below if you can help in any way or would just like to be a part of our community festival. Volunteering and participating in our festival preparations is a great way to improve your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), giving you experience in event planning, administration and finance, as well as visual arts, including access to highly professional artist-led creative sculpture and lantern-making workshops.

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