Queenstown’s Winter Extravaganza

Opening Firework display at the American Express Queenstown Winterfestival 2016

The opening fireworks display at last year’s festival. Photo supplied by Queenstown Winter Festival.

The clock is ticking down to the Queenstown Winter Festival, New Zealand’s massive celebration of winter’s arrival. From June 22 to 25, from the lake to the mountain tops, there’ll be a fabulous program of fireworks, street parties, live music, comedy, apres ski dining, mountain events, and family entertainment.

From mountain bikes on snow to flailing wannabe birdmen plunging into the icy lake, family events to DJs and nightlife, Gibbston Valley wine and cheese tastings to a luxury lunch at Botswana Butchery, there is something on the program for everyone.

Great excuse for a party

Queenstowners have always loved winter but it was made official when the first Queenstown Winter Festival took place in 1975. A group of locals decided that the start of winter was a great excuse to have a party. They organised races on the mountains, with lollies for the little people and beers for the bigger people. With a concert or two and a town-wide ball thrown in, Winter Festival was a great success.

Since then the festival has evolved into a massive celebration attracting more than 45,000 visitors, all celebrating the arrival of winter in true Queenstown style. The 43rd Queenstown Winter Festival has a new sponsor for one of its most popular events, the Friday Night Party and Fireworks on June 23.

Real Journeys’ sponsorship for the night covers the fireworks, four hours of main stage entertainment and a new festival initiative acknowledging community heroes – a ‘Thank You Cruise’ on the TSS Earnslaw giving these unsung heroes pole position on the lakefront to watch the fireworks.

For details of the 43rd Queenstown Winter Festival program, visit www.winterfestival.co.nz

Queenstown by Tamara Salins

Bird’s eye view of Queenstown.Photo by Tamara Salins.

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