You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the Inaugural Light Up Eau Claire New Year’s Eve event and there will be a lot of fun happening in downtown Eau Claire that night: music, drinks, fireworks…but the part of the night were most excited about is an idea that we’ve adopted from our Australian sister-city, Lismore: a Lantern Parade. Here are a few reasons why you should join the fun and excitement of walking in The Lismore Lantern Parade on New Year’s Eve. 
 

1.     A TIME TO GET CREATIVE

This is not just any walking parade; It’s a parade where you can create your own paper lantern to carry through the streets of downtown Eau Claire. If you choose to make a lantern, (which we absolutely recommend) you will be able to connect with your creative, artistic side.  Get crafty by reading our step-by-step tutorial or watching this lantern-making tutorial...OR register for the lantern workshop on December 30th at the Eau Claire Regional Arts center for only $15.  You can choose to personalize your lantern by deciding the size, shape, color, and accessories for your lantern...the opportunities are endless! If you’re not feeling crafty this year, you can purchase a lantern at the Eau Claire-Stream on the day of the event for only $5. Although we want you to help us Light Up Eau Claire, all are welcome to walk in the parade with us on New Year’s Eve, lantern or not!
 

2.     ALL-AGES

The Little Lantern Parade may be geared more toward children aged 12 and under, but this parade will be enjoyed by people of all ages!  Invite the whole family, pack up the car, and head down to Barstow Street before 11pm – just in time to walk the parade.  This is a fun, family oriented parade that will be an unforgettable experience for kids and adults alike!
 

3.     GET COMPETITIVE (If you want)

If you’re way proud of the way your vision for your lantern came to life, enter it into the Lantern-Making Contest by simply showing up to the parade starting point (immediately South of the Barstow St. bridge) at 10:45 p.m. with your lantern!! Before the parade begins, you will present your lantern to the panel of judges, who will assess your creation on creativity, beauty, and stability!  Immediately after the parade, come to the Eau Claire-Stream to find out if you’re a winner. The first place winner will receive $500, second place will take home $250, and third will get $100… but you must be present to win!! After the winners are announced, make your way down to the parking ramp at the corner of Barstow St. and Riverview Tr.; for only $10, you will have access to a clear, heated tent from which you can watch the midnight fireworks show! 
 

4.     It's FREE

Yep, this is FREE to the public – and who doesn’t love FREE fun?
 

We look forward to Lighting Up Eau Claire with you this New Year’s Eve and hope you can join us in marching through downtown in this magical parade. Happy crafting!