AMEX back for Queenstown WinterFest’s big 40th


The dates have been locked and loaded for the 40th anniversary Queenstown Winter Festival.

Festival manager Lisa Buckingham today (Wednesday) confirmed the multi-award-winning festival will run from June 20 to 29 next year.

Buckingham also confirmed that naming sponsor American Express is also back onboard.

Planning for the special 40th festival is already well underway, she says.

“There’ll be some new events but we’re also focusing on bringing back the ‘best of the best’ from the past 39 years.”

Regular ingredients include fireworks, a street parade, crazy races on and off the skifields, charity events and family fun.

Buckingham says the festival’s national and international reputation has snowballed, and major Australian website Yahoo!7 Travel ranks it among the world’s top-10 ‘must-do’ festivals.

Graham Budd, the boss of Destination Queenstown, which owns the event, says anticipation is already building for next year’s festival.

“The festival will mark a special milestone for our community – it’s grown from a few locals who thought town was a bit quiet and the arrival of winter was a great excuse for a party to becoming the southern hemisphere’s premier celebration of all things winter.

“It’s our way of declaring Queenstown open for the winter season and celebrating it with 10 days of unadulterated fun.

“New events are injected into the programme each year but the festival has always stayed true to its roots – celebrating winter and Queenstown’s unique culture and community.”