The River Rock to Mountain Top Community Festival was originally conceived by the Rotary Club of Mirani (now Rotary Club of Pioneer Valley) as a way to bring the numerous insular communities of the former Mirani Shire together by working towards a common goal which would benefit the entire community and engage newer residents brought to the area as a result of the mining expansion in the Mackay Hinterland and general population growth of the Mackay Region. The Festival has built on the success of the Rotary Tagalong Charity Horse Ride and Bush Carnival which began in 2003.
The Pioneer Valley Lantern parade is one of the feature events of the annual River Rock to Mountain Top Community Festival. The event began in 2008 and has continued to grow, attracting more participants, local spectators and tourists each year and providing a spectacular iconic event that the region is now very proud of.
The aim of the parade is to provide an inclusive community event that caters for all ages and abilities, brings together all ten rural communities in a central location and celebrates the regions natural and agriculture beauty and uniqueness. The event encourages social inclusion, celebrates community, and creates a greater regional understanding, sense of pride and identity.
Free Community art workshops are held in all the participating townships in the months running up to the parade to produce large and small lanterns and street decorations for the parade. These workshops- Provide community members the opportunity to gain new skills and a sense of achievement by being involved in a large scale project that has a professional public performance as an outcome.