New location for Cromwell's Light Up Winter event

by Kim Bowden - Jun 07, 2024

With a huge three waters construction project moving closer to the centre of Cromwell, the town's annual winter festival has been pushed to a new home this year.

Light Up Winter will now take place at the Anderson Park Rose Garden, which is tucked in behind the council's swimming pool complex.

Carolyn Murray, the chair of the Cromwell and Districts Promotion Group, which organises the event, says the combination of increasing attendee numbers over previous years and the Cromwell rising main project means the team had to seek out a new location.

A new location, but no changes to family favourites like the light up your hat competition (Image: Supplied/Tikitiki Photography).

"We are delighted to announce that the Anderson Park Rose Garden will provide a stunning new backdrop for our community’s favourite winter celebration," she says in a statement this week announcing the move.

"We cannot wait to welcome locals and out-of-town visitors to experience the ‘new-look’ event, so save the date, Saturday 3rd August from 4pm to 8.30pm."

Newly appointed event co-ordinator for the promotion group Anthea Lawrence says it has been fun coming on board and having the opportunity to "mix things up".

She thinks the new spot will take the event "to another level", saying it "gives us license to create something fresh with a new magical twist".

Despite the changes, festival goers can still expect some popular staples - the light-up your hat competition, food trucks and stalls, live music and performances, and the mass lantern release.

The release of the lanterns was at the centre of discussions between the Central Otago District Council, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and event organisers in recent months, after FENZ published an advisory strongly recommending against their use.

However the event was given the all-clear - and close to $60,000 in public funding - after the council was assured fire risk mitigations had been put in place.

Organisers are warning that there will be no lantern sales on the day, and a limited number will be available for purchase online only from Thursday, June 20.

They say the supplied lanterns are flame retardant, completely biodegradable, and free from any wire that could harm wildlife.

Visit or stay connected on Facebook for more information.

Main image (Supplied/Tikitiki Photography): Lanterns prepare to take to the skies above Cromwell at the 2023 Light Up Winter event.

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