One of Australia’s most famous mountain ranges is the Dandenong, which is situated in Victoria and only a short drive from the city of Melbourne. There are many small towns scattered around these mountains. They are Belgrave, Cockatoo, Emerald, Gembrook, Kalista, Kalorama, Lilydale, Menzies Creek, Monbulk, Montrose, Mount Dandenong, Mount Evelyn, Olinda, Sassafras, Selby, Silvan, Tecoma, The Basin, Upper Ferntree Gully, and Upwey. Ferntree Gully and Boronia could also be included, as these towns are at the foothills of Dandenong Mountains.
Many people from these communities came together in Belgrave on June 23 for the annual Lantern Parade.
People from Belgrave and the surrounding towns wait for the parade to begin. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
In Belgrave before the parade date, workshops were held to learn how to make a lantern.
People find their positions as the local belly dancers are about to perform before the parade. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
The festival began with people lining the main street in Belgrave (Burwood Highway), which was lined with food stalls and other interesting displays. At 4 pm, a local artist, Kelly Mack, began painting young faces, giving all the children a spectacular look for the night. The library was open for story time at 4:30 pm and people listened to the street radio, which provided commentary about the night’s festivities. At 5 pm, Claire’s Violin Studio began performing on the upper footpath.
Local belly dancers wowed the audience with their glowing hip belts. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Light rain fell as it started to turn dark. That was not stopping the performers as they embraced the weather. Crowds lined the street with umbrellas and all dressed in jackets and waterproof gear.
Clearing the air was the Hilltop Horns followed by drummers. The drums echoed into the street and the rain almost halted when the bellydancers appeared. The dancers’ gentle moves delighted the audience with a colorful display of lights that adorned their hips.
Fire dancers emerged with their brave flame dancing and tricks. And from behind the fire dancers, the show of Lanterns began.
Fire dancers performed their brave acts. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
The Belgrave Lantern Parade started with a splash of color. People with home-crafted lanterns walked glowing before onlookers who stood in awe of the wonderful displays. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Cameras flashed as onlookers took photos of the round lanterns bobbing up and down. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
A homemade green bird glows brilliantly as it makes its way through the crowd. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
A dragonfly and a colorful pyramid march by parade watchers. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Rainbows, torches, and an umbrella laced with lights provided great color. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
An observatory moves along the parade route alongside glowing planets. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Animals that come from the creek were made into lanterns. A turtle swims above the heads of everyone. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
A water rat emerges as he makes his presence known to all. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
A yabbie from the creek. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Dr. Who’s Tardis and a Dalek surprised all as they paraded through the Main Street of Belgrave. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Animals of the forest crept into town. A possum glows as it leads the way. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
A lyrebird struts around a lit up community house as a child holds a lantern. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
A jellyfish illuminates everyone. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Boronia Calisthenics College displays a shiny beauty posing in yellow. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
As the parade ends, everyone puts their lanterns down to enjoy the rest of the night. Hens continue to glow after the parade. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
A lit up banner leads to an area of food and entertainment. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
Teepee’s created a place to sit. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
The night ended with people gathering around interesting teepees and to take a closer look at some creative lanterns. A performer played near an open fire as food stalls sold takeaway food. Restaurants and many traders remained open for the night. It was a wonderful event for all who came together in Belgrave for an entertaining night.
A local entertainer sings to people keeping warm by the fire with a food stall in the background. (Image: Trisha Haddock)
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