Welling­ton so in love with WOW

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - CHELSEA MCLAUGH­LIN

The cap­i­tal’s love for one of its big­gest events is on full dis­play on the water­front.

A bright red 2.5-me­tre sign, read­ing ‘Welling­ton loves WOW’, has been erected next to the Whairepo La­goon foot­bridge.

It is short walk from the TSB Bank Arena - the World of Wear­ableArt venue - and the lo­ca­tion of the WOW Hub, which aims to bring more of the show’s magic to the streets of Welling­ton.

Welling­ton Re­gional Economic Devel­op­ment Agency gen­eral man­ager, events & part­ner­ships War­rick Dent said the sign, con- structed by New­town firm An­der­son De­sign, was a trib­ute to ev­ery­thing the event had brought to Welling­ton.

‘‘In the spirit of WOW, it’s de­signed with cre­ativ­ity at heart. We’re invit­ing people to sit, stand or pose among the let­ters to cre­ate photos full of per­son­al­ity and fun.’’

Post­ing photos with the sign on so­cial media, us­ing the hash­tag #Wel­lyLovesWOW will gain en­try to win spot prizes in­clud­ing mer­chan­dise and vouch­ers from city bars, cafes and restau­rants.

The WOW Hub un­der the sails on Queens Wharf will fea­ture a mini-dis­play of award-win­ning gar­ments and live per­for­mances through the WOW sea­son.

World of Wear­ableArt chief ex­ec­u­tive Gisella Carr said the hub was de­signed to get the whole city in­volved.

‘‘The premise has al­ways been that the city switches on for WOW. Lots of events have fan zones and we de­cided that it would be fun to cre­ate that sense of feel­ing out­side the TSB Arena.’’

More than 70 re­tail­ers have dressed their win­dows in red as part of the an­nual win­dow dressing com­pe­ti­tion, and the hospi­tal­ity sec­tor is get­ting in­volved with a range of WOW-in­spired menus and din­ing of­fers through­out the city.

Mayor Justin Lester said WOW was a sig­nif­i­cant event for the city.

‘‘Welling­ton loves WOW be­cause it’s au­da­ciously imag­i­na­tive, and ir­re­sistibly cre­ative. WOW en­er­gises and cel­e­brates so much of what makes Welling­ton unique, and we look for­ward to it ev­ery year.’’

Since its ar­rival in Welling­ton in 2005, the show has been seen by more than 400,000 people, and last year con­trib­uted an es­ti­mated $25 mil­lion to the re­gional econ­omy in visi­tor spend­ing.

The WOW Hub is open 10am5pm from to­day to Oc­to­ber 8, plus 90 min­utes be­fore evening shows start.

WOW runs September 21 to Oc­to­ber 8. In­for­ma­tion and tick­ets from world­ofwear­ableart.com.

Two World of Wear­ableArt mod­els pose in front of the #Wel­lyLovesWOW sign on the Welling­ton water­front.

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