Win­ter comes alive for Taupo¯ fest

Waikato News - - News - Lau­rilee McMichael

The Ton­gariro Do­main will be trans­formed from a bland and some­what soggy patch of open ground to a win­ter en­ter­tain­ment won­der­land as part of the up­com­ing Mal­colm Flow­ers In­sur­ances Taupo¯ Win­ter Fes­ti­val.

The fes­ti­val, which runs from Thurs­day July 13 to Sun­day July 16 will bring both the north and south ends of the Ton­gariro Do­main alive.

Fes­ti­val man­ager Ni­cola Carter says the Ton­gariro North Do­main will have the Eb­bett Taupo¯ ice slide which will be open for snow play. It will be filled with snow from Mt Ruapehu for chil­dren to go in­side, build snow­men, have snow fights and play with snow toys. The snow globe will op­er­ate in 15-minute ses­sions that cost $5 per per­son. The slide and nearby snow globe will also be run­ning on the evening of Satur­day, July 15.

This year’s ice slide will be dou­ble the size of last year’s at 35m and although it’s free, if you want to skip the queue you can pur­chase an ex­press ticket. It will stay on the do­main un­til July 22.

To en­hance the fes­ti­val at­mos­phere there will be live en­ter­tain­ment on the do­main all day on Satur­day, July 15 from lo­cal artists, with food and cof­fee nearby. The free fam­ily cir­cus Big­gest Lit­tle Cir­cus, with jug­gling, trapeze and dan­ger, will per­form on the do­main from 11am un­til mid­day.

Fes­ti­val man­ager Mrs Carter says or­gan­is­ers felt af­ter last year’s fes­ti­val that the do­main needed somem­ore ac­tiv­ity, and de­cided to bring in the live en­ter­tain­ment. En­ter­tain­ers will also be roam­ing and play­ing live mu­sic in the Taupo¯ town cen­tre dur­ing the day. On the other side of the Great Lake Cen­tre, the Uni­son light trail and seven light sculp­tures will be set up on the Ton­gariro South Do­main, and the Lions Train will be run­ning night time rides. The pop­u­lar light trail has made sev­eral vis­its to Taupo¯ but this year’s will be some­thing quite dif­fer­ent, fes­ti­val pro­gramme man­ager Kylie Hawker-Green says.

“We’ve had a light trail for a few years now and we wanted to change it up and cre­ate some­thing a bit mag­i­cal and spe­cial so we have seven phe­nom­e­nal world-class light in­stal­la­tions com­ing to Taupo¯ and we’re go­ing to con­nect those in­stal­la­tions with lights, cre­at­ing a mag­i­cal path­way.”

The light trail will be switched on at a fire­light cel­e­bra­tion on Fri­day, July 14 at 5pm.

Chil­dren will be able to cre­ate glow-in-the-dark painted T-shirt mas­ter­pieces to wear to the cel­e­bra­tion and join in the fun with live mu­sic, en­ter­tain­ment, give­aways and train rides, and the Taupo¯ Mu­seum will also be open late.

The light trail will be on the Do­main ev­ery evening un­til 10pm on Satur­day, July 22 and the ice slide will also be open ev­ery day un­til July 22.

We’ve had a light trail for a few years now and we wanted to change it up and cre­ate some­thing a bit­mag­i­cal and spe­cial.

SNOW FUN: The Mt Ruapehu snow globe will be on the Ton­gariro North Do­main dur­ing the Mal­colm Flow­ers In­sur­ances Taupo¯ Win­ter Fes­ti­val.

LIGHT TRAIN: The Lions Train will be run­ning night time rides dur­ing the win­ter fes­ti­val and will be joined by the Uni­son Light Trail and light art sculp­tures.

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