Migaloo, the great white whale lantern, will make his grand debut this weekend as a highlight of Saturday's annual Lismore Lantern Parade.
Sponsored by Southern Cross University, Migaloo has been named for the rare white humpback whale that is seen off the east coast of Australia each year on his annual migration north.
Lantern-parade Migaloo will carry some of the DNA of the real life Migaloo, collected by SCU Whale Research Centre PhD student Dan Burns one of the lantern carriers.
During the Lantern Parade, Migaloo will also be singing his humpback whale song, courtesy of an internal CD player.
David Lloyd, executive officer of the Whale Research Centre, said he hoped the Migaloo lantern would help to raise awareness of the need to protect and conserve not only our local population of humpback whales, but whales of all species around the planet.
The iconic Migaloo is a regular visitor to waters off Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay and his return this year is still being eagerly awaited by whale watchers and SCU researchers.
Last year there were unconfirmed reports of a white calf being seen and SCU researchers are now keen to establish if Migaloo has fathered the baby.
This year's Lantern Parade promises to be a fantastic event, said director Jyllie Jackson.
There are children's activities from 10am to 3pm at the Lismore Regional Gallery in Molesworth Street; night markets from 4pm until late featuring arts, crafts and regional cuisine; the parade of lanterns starts at 5.30pm from Magellan Street and travels down Molesworth and Market Streets to Riverside Park where the fiery finale will take place at 6.45pm.
Jyllie Jackson said she hoped patrons would give a generous donation as they passed through the entrance gates to help support the future of the community festival.
A street party will rock on from 7.30pm until late where you can dance the night away to the sounds of the Romaniacs Gypsy Caravan, Hudabrastic Funk, Art of Thunder, Space Cowboy and friends, Bella Donna and Snakeweave.
More info at www.lismorelanternparade.com.au or 1300 369 795.
Media contact: Zoe Satherley SCU media officer 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.