Local News

RIVERLIGHT ULMARRA: Family event to light up the Clarence

Floating lanterns will light up the mighty Clarence River as part of the inaugural Riverlight Ulmarra Festival.

The Clarence Valley Council sponsored event at Bailey Park on 14 May 2022 is set to deliver an economic boost of at least $115,000 to the region via overnight and day visitor spend.

“Riverlight Ulmarra is a riverside lantern festival for local and visiting families and friends,” Clarence Valley Mayor Ian Tiley said.

“It will be a celebratory event for Ulmarra and provide a timely economic boost for the community after the recent floods.

“Council has proudly put forward $4500 in sponsorship and also facilitated grant funding through the Regional Tourism Bushfire Fund.”

Recently elected councillor Steve Pickering is a passionate Ulmarra community member and was a strong advocate for Clarence Valley Council’s Ulmarra Bypass Community Economic Development Plan in 2018.

“The plan was created in consultation with the Ulmarra community to encourage more community led events to drive visitation to the historic village,” Cr Pickering said.

“Riverlight Ulmarra meets this objective. The lanterns will not only create a beautiful image, but will attract visitors to stay the night.”

The festival is being organised and promoted by Phil Nicholas from Events Delivered, who created the Riverlight Ulmarra website which also includes additional travel ideas for visitors.

“The spectacle will be a lantern parade through Ulmarra and down to the Clarence River to launch the lanterns, which will create a magical atmosphere,” Mr Nicholas said.

“However, we also want to encourage visitors to stay for the weekend and enjoy all the wonderful aspects of the surrounding region. So as part of Riverlight Ulmarra we have incorporated four fantastic travel itineraries: Town and Country, The Tartan Trail, Rural River Hamlets and City to Surf.”

Each of the itineraries concludes at the festival, which runs from 2pm to 9pm and includes lots of activities and displays, market stalls, the Coopers Brewery Bar, delicious food from local vendors, the Riverlight lantern parade at 6pm and live music headlined by local groovers The Ninth Chapter at 7.30pm.

Everyone can get involved in lighting up the river. Bring your own lantern or make one at the festival, then join in the parade through the park down to the banks of the Clarence River.
People can buy a lantern kit, and in the weeks leading into the event there will be FREE lantern making workshops at Brushgrove Hall:

  • 11am-4pm Saturday, 30 April
  • 11am-4pm Sunday, 1 May
  • 11am-4pm Saturday, 7 May

At these workshops there will also be the opportunity to contribute to the design and construction of a large, sculptural lantern that will head up the parade.
For those unable to attend the workshops, lantern kits are easy to buy when purchasing festival tickets. Tickets to Riverlight Ulmarra are $15 plus booking fee. For more info visit www.riverlightulmarra.com.au/

Riverlight Ulmarra coincides with the 10th year of the plunge Arts & Culture Festival. Check out the full 2022 Plunge program at www.clarence.nsw.gov.au/plunge or pick up a copy at your local library or gallery.