Lanterns raise community spirits

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The dark Cromwell skies were alight with 400 bright lanterns on Friday night at the Light Up Winter celebrations.

Organised by Cromwell Promotions, the night transformed the Cromwell Mall into a bustling night market with a live band, food stalls, activities for children and a “light up your hat competition”.

Cromwell Promotions committee member Ferg Dardis said up to 800 people, both from Cromwell and further afield, travelled to the event.

The committee usually tried to attract more people to the town, he said, but the evening was about giving back to the local community.

“The sole purpose was to have a community event.

“It’s not just the commercial aspect, it’s growing the sense of community in the town.”

The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the lantern launch, which lit up the skies with biodegradable lanterns released by members of the public.

Organisers had received positive feedback and a bigger and better event was on the cards for next year, he said.

“It was just a really positive event. The response from the community was fantastic.

“If we can launch 400 balloons, then why can’t we launch 600 next year?” Mr Dardis said.