Cromwell to Light Up Winter this weekend

Jul 07, 2022

Don the winter woollies and prepare to light up the dark nights in Cromwell this weekend – the town’s annual Light Up Winter festival is on.

Thousands are expected at the Big Fruit Reserve for a night of food and market stalls, entertainment, and a mass lantern release.

The crowds have grown year-on-year, forcing organisers to shift the event from the Cromwell Mall to the new spot.

This new venue will also accommodate a pop-up ice skating rink in town specially for the event.

“We can’t wait to show everyone what we have in store,” Cromwell Promotions’ Kelly Cruickshank-Giles says.

“We have been pursuing the idea of an ice skating rink for a few years, and are very grateful to be able to bring it to our community this year thanks to the grant we received from the Southern Lakes Event Fund.”

Lanterns drift into the night sky at Light Up Winter (Image: Ashley Tikitiki).

The ice skating rink will open to the public tomorrow (Friday, July 8) with an end-of-term “Disco on Ice” for school children and teens, before being open to the general public from Saturday, July 9 until Thursday, July 14.

The main attraction on Saturday is the “breathtaking” mass lantern release at 6pm. Cromwell Promotions estimates that this year’s release will see more than 1000 lanterns drift into the night sky.

“We are passionate about keeping the lantern release safe and environmentally friendly,” says Carolyn Murray, Cromwell Promotions chair.

“The lanterns we are selling are flame retardant, completely biodegradable and contain no wire that could pose a threat to wildlife. We ask that the public do not bring other lanterns to the release.”

There's plenty of planned activities for young and old – including live music by local artists including LA Social, hands-on, interactive demonstrations on the science of light by the Tūhura Otago Museum and the Dodd-Walls Centre, a night market, street food, roaming street performers, a “light-up-your-hat” competition, and a cosy Craft Cave for the kids.

“Infinite Energy Light Up Winter is sure to chase the winter blues away, so join in the fun.”

Head online for more information on the event here

Main image (Ashley Tikitiki): Finlay Murray shows off his hat creation.

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