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An estimated 150-200 people attended the Manning River Turtle Conservation Group’s inaugural Winter Solstice Lantern Walk on Friday night.
The turn out far exceeded the hopes of the newly-formed group, who plan on making it an annual event to bring awareness to the community of the endangered Manning River Helmeted Turtle (Purvis’ Turtle) and celebrate the winter solstice.
Families started gathering an hour before the walk for the lantern making workshop, and there were just enough lanterns to go around.
It was a magical fairy-like sight as the walk wound it’s way through Wingham Brush, went down to Farquhar Street and through Wingham Court, where some residents, those who were still awake, were waiting to take part. Residents at Wingham Court had helped make lanterns earlier in the week for families attending, as did the First Wingham Scouts Cub pack.
After leaving Wingham Court the walk returned up Isabella Street and ended at the Wingham Activations Weekend Blitz launch at Wingham Brush Public School, where walkers were met by canapes and music.
The Manning River Turtle Conservation Group wish to thank the Wingham Chamber of Commerce, JOC Consulting, MidCoast Council and Kidsplay MidCoast Events for their support of this event.
They also wish to thank the members of the community who joined them for the event, and how respectful they were of Wingham Brush. There were an overwhelming number of comments from families joining the walk hoping it would happen again next year.
The Winter Solstice Lantern walk was this year part of the Wingham Activations Blitz Weekend.