If skiing’s not your thing, there’s hip hop, hard cases … and even some breakdancing

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You don’t need to love skiing, boarding, curling or ice skating to enjoy the inaugural Queenstown-based New Zealand Winter Games.

With 1200 international athletes competing from August 22-31, the event is “a great reason to throw another winter party,” says Games ceremonies and entertainment coordinator Malcolm Blakey.

The August 21 welcome at Earnslaw Park will feature local bands all afternoon and evening and the official opening includes a Maori welcome, a speech by Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, skydivers, flag-bearers arriving by jetboat and a fire show.

The August 30 wind-up at Coronet Peak includes fireworks, stunt jumpers and skiing displays, music, a medal ceremony and a speech by Prime Minister John Key ahead of an after-party downtown.

Australian hip-hop group Hilltop Hoods and Kiwi comedian Millen Baird play Memorial Hall and
ex-Salmonella Dub frontman Tiki Taane appears at Subculture.

Blakey’s also talking art exhibitions, workshops, breakdancing classes and food and wine comps.