Lismore Festivals and Events
Unmissable events in the Lismore social calendar
As a large city near the coast with a country town feel, Lismore has an abundance of celebrations throughout the year for every occasion.
Mark these ones down in the calendar – these are our top picks for the biggest events in Lismore!
Lismore Lantern Parade
Held in June each year on the night of the winter solstice, the Lismore Lantern Parade is a dazzling event that showcases the creativity of the Northern Rivers region with spectacular large lanterns parading the streets. The lanterns are the main spectacle, but there are also fireworks, live entertainment and food stalls to really make this night one to remember. Along with the Lismore Show (North Coast National), this is one of Lismore’s signature events, making it an unmissable night out in the Lismore social calendar.
Lismore Show (North Coast National)
The annual Lismore Show, also known as North Coast National, is held in October each year in the Lismore Showgrounds. This is a big event held over 3 days and nights, drawing people young and old from all over the Northern Rivers region. Remaining true to its rural roots, the Lismore Show has plenty of farming and animal exhibits, but also keeps things exciting with an abundance of rides and games in sideshow alley, and showbags of course! For the adults, there is a laid back outdoor bar which houses an array of great local musicians and performers, making for a great relaxed vibe. In the true spirit of a big country show, there are also monster trucks and fireworks to top off a great local event.
Tropical Fruits NYE Festival
Tropical Fruits is a vibrant festival held on the last night of the year to celebrate the LGBTI community in the Northern Rivers. Outside of Sydney’s Mardi Gras, Tropical Fruits is the largest LGBTI event in the Southern Hemisphere and draws crowds from all over the country. The event runs over four days and the New Year’s Eve dance party is the main attraction of the festival. This lively festival begins with a bang on the 29 December with a street parade, and ends on New Year’s Day with a recovery party and barbeque at the local pool. The New Year’s Eve party is a different theme every year and features three dance halls, a spectacular fireworks display, cabaret, an art exhibition with on-site art installations and a licensed bar - and plenty of music, of course!
The Lismore Eisteddfod is a competition for amateur performers (both children and adults) to show off their skills in music, dance, choirs and more. Held since 1908, the Lismore Eisteddfod has celebrated amateur performers by allowing them to demonstrate their talents and compete for the winning titles. For teachers, students and parents especially, this is an exciting occasion, and the different performances are frequented by supportive family, friends and community members.
The Lismore Cup
The Lismore Cup is the premier event in Lismore’s racing calendar, and forms part of Lismore Turf Club’s Spring Racing Carnival. Held on the fourth Thursday in September, the Cup always draws a big crowd dressed to the nines, making for a lovely bright day out. This exciting day at the races is accompanied by plenty of food options, as well as a large licensed outdoor bar. Giddy up, and don’t forget your fascinator!
Eat the Street Food Festival
One for the foodies, Eat the Street is a one-day festival held in the streets of Lismore CBD celebrating all things food and drink! This event is held on Magellan and Carrington Streets and the Back Alley Gallery, with stall marquees arranged in a ‘strip’-like formation, so you can wander down the street, browsing through the stalls with food morsels in hand. As you stroll, you’ll enjoy the laid-back atmosphere with a music stage and cooking stage in addition to the diverse range of food and drink stalls available, as well as the boutique beer garden. There is also a dedicated children’s entertainment area filled with great activities, such as jumping castles, face painting, balloon twisting, a petting zoo and reptile shows.
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