Lighting up the longest night

Lanterns on show are a treat for bystanders. Pictures: SUPPLIED.

It’s Belgrave’s spotlight event each and every year, lighting up the night with the spectacular, hand made lanterns to celebrate the longest night.

The winter solstice festival in June draws crowds from all over to dance, sing and share in conversation through the main street of the hillside town.

For visitors to the Dandenong Ranges soak in the joy of food along the tree-lined street, live music and local traders as they open their doors for the evening.

Lanterns of all shapes and sizes, of quirky creatures and native animals, are paraded down the road in spectacular fashion.

Circus performers, fire breathers and belly dancers have featured in the past, making for quite the night of entertainment.

It’s an event that brings the whole community together for lantern making workshops and months of planning by the Belgrave Traders, as well as a group of dedicated volunteers.

For over 15 years now, the lantern parade has put Belgrave on the map and been something scheduled into people’s calendars every year.

With confirmed funding for the next four years as well, it will ensure the joyous winter marvel will be a constant celebration fighting off the darkness.

As the only one of its kind in the Yarra Ranges shire, Belgrave’s iconic parade is one not to miss on Saturday 22 June, 5pm to 8pm.