BOB Downe said he was proud to be leading a colourful crew to mark the opening of the Tropical Fruits festival in the “rainbow region” of Lismore in northern NSW.

Departing from the once-iconic Winsome Hotel, Downe escorted long-standing Mayor Jenny Dowell down the town’s main street, where crowds flocked to see the parade with vantage points being eyed and secured hours before.

The "Rainbow Region" in full colour for Lismore's Tropical Fruits (Photo: Miles Heffernan)

The “Rainbow Region” in full colour for Lismore’s Tropical Fruits (Photo: Miles Heffernan)

A local art gallery also had an exhibition of 25 years of Tropical Fruits memorabilia as well including a full wall size mural by Naomi Feller.

Ben Mulcahy (R) hams it up with his buddies in front of Naomi Fella's Tropical Fruits mural

Ben Mulcahy (R) hams it up with his buddies in front of Naomi Fella’s Tropical Fruits mural (Photo: Miles Heffernan)

Restaurants were all packed on a Monday night and “no vacancy” signs were lit up. The Lismore Showgrounds was a temporary festive tent-city.

In the final days counting down to one of the biggest and long-lasting New Year’s Eve events, Tropical Fruits insiders were saying it “is getting close to selling out”. However, there are still some tickets for the big night, pool party and recovery on sale.

The whole town was showing its spirit and pride. The Lismore City Motor Inn was fully booked by the same friends for the 10th year in a row, turning their car park into hub of activity.

More Pics of the parade can be found at our Facebook Page.

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