It’s the community party that continues to grow, lighting up the cold midwinter with local good cheer. And this year there’s even a David Pope t-shirt to commemorate the event (how very inner north!).
This Saturday, Light Up Lyneham takes place for the third year, bringing together locals to mark halfway through the year and brighten a cold winter night.
Beginning in 2017, the community event attracted 500 locals in its first year and continues to grow.
The family-friendly event is organised each year by the Lyneham Community Association, who say “The depths of winter can be very cold in Canberra and we don’t have a strong culture of celebrating aspects of winter. We’re inclined to turn inwards and stay at home, so this event was created to remind people about the strong community ties that exist in their neighbourhood.”
The centre of the celebrations is a lantern parade, bobbing its way from the Lyneham shops to the wetlands and back again at sunset. The parade is reflected in the event’s official artwork by cartoonist David Pope, who has depicted a glowing owl lantern against the dusky backdrop of the wetlands and Black Mountain.
All kinds of lanterns are welcome, from tea lights and torches to more elaborate constructions and there will be lantern-making facilities available from 4 pm for those who are caught short.
The walk is 3km long and starts from the Lyneham Shops at sunset and follows a path from the Lyneham Primary School, the Lyneham Commons and the Lyneham High School to the Lyneham Wetlands. The course then follows the path around the wetlands in a clockwise direction, before returning past the schools and back to the Lyneham Shops.
Volunteer marshals will be at the two road crossings and other key sections of the course. Children under the age of 11 should be accompanied and organisers say that comfortable walking shoes and warm clothes: beanie, scarf, gloves, layers of warm clothes and a jacket are a sensible idea. They also suggest that arriving by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport will help with the limited parking.
Back at the shops post-parade there will be live music from Hashemoto, Pete Lyon and many more, with plenty of food for families. There’s even a Prosperous Mountain Lion Dance.
The Lyneham Community Association is also holding a membership drive to encourage locals to join. The Association say they foster community identity and involvement in the area at a time when there’s plenty of change afoot.
The Association promotes local activities and events, informs the government of resident needs and expectations and contributes to planning discussions in the local and wider area.
You can find out more about Light Up Lyneham at the event Facebook page.