This is how it started….
As with most great events and ideas, there is usually more than one thought process involved. Always more than one brain required to pull something together. This is our story……
After a successful (but exhausting) Dinner in an Igloo event in 2014, ideas were tossed around about something new and different for 2015. Something a little easier. The Winter Solstice, “light up the night”, community, warming food, candles and lanterns all ended up in the same sentence ……. and the Mansfield Lantern Festival was created.
Fast forward to March 2015 and plans were a little further along (or at least in our heads). The Arts Council Mansfield were an easy winner for inclusion, along with a number of our brilliant local chefs and restaurants. Pulling it together and filling the gaps was Alli from Walker Events.
This was not meant to be a “one off” event. Our first year – 2015 – surprised everyone. The “hoped for” 50 – 80 people turned into nearly 500 people with beautiful glowing lanterns. Music from the local MAD Orchestra. Hot chocolates. Snowflake light installations from the Arts Council. 2016 followed up with a beautiful main street parade that finished in the Courtyard of the Delatite Hotel with fire twirling, fairy lights and more music. 2017 saw a move into the newly “renovated” Erril Street precinct with lights, large open fires, music and food and drinks. An amazing experience for everyone who came along.
2018 saw a MASSIVE swell in numbers with people travelling from Melbourne, Geelong, Wangaratta and Benalla. Our “10 year plan” took a mighty leap from year 4 ….. to year 8!
There is a plan. A long term plan. And this event WILL grow. Watch this space. Be involved. And enjoy the night.