Big aims for new Queenstown spring carnival


The organiser of Queenstown’s newest festival, a spring carnival, has big ambitions. 

“It’s certainly something I see growing in the coming years,” Springbored Spring Carnival organiser James Mulcahy says. 

“Winter Fest is the goal, really.” 

The five-day carnival, which starts on September 10, pulls together established events on the snow – such as The Remarkables skifield’s Burton Stash Gathering and the last weekend of night skiing at sister field Coronet Peak – as well as themed nights at Queenstown nightspot, The Find. 

Some activities are aimed at retail workers, pitching shop against shop to create a competition. 

Mulcahy says the goal is to give locals, seasonal workers and tourists alike a celebration of the change of seasons. 

A Kiwi who has lived in Queenstown four years and runs mountain bike film competition Through The Lens, Mulcahy says what started as an idea snowballed, and the reaction’s been positive. 

Some big names are on board –NZSki, Corona, Red Bull, Burton and The Find. 

” I used to be a snowboard instructor and travelled around the world in a few different resorts, and there was always a big end of season party to celebrate the coming of spring and summer and what’s been going on,” he says. 

“Queenstown was lacking that really; the winter just seems to fizzle out.” 

The inaugural event took two months to organise – so the programme isn’t as packed as he would have liked. 

Next year he’d like to introduce more family-friendly events, like an ice skating night. 

NZSki general manager of sales and marketing Craig Douglas says the festival ties together events enjoyed by many winter workers. 

“If everything happens in the right way it’ll continue to grow.” 

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