Queenstown’s Winter Festival director Simon Green has proclaimed this year’s 38th event a huge success.
“Every event was massively supported and everyone had a fantastic time. Winter truly started here this year,” Green says, after capping off the 10-day extravaganza with a surprise 40th birthday party downtown last night (Sunday).
The final event of the festival calendar was a super line-up of live music for the Mardi Gras closing party attended by thousands downtown.
Queenstown’s Ukulele Orchestra kicked it off at 4pm before Brazilian group Grupo Junina and then Ainu took to the stage.
More than 8000 people lapped up The Beat Girls, Jason Kerrison’s Babysitters Circus and dDub on the main stage at Earnslaw Park.
Meanwhile, emerging Wakatipu youth bands supported by the RockFormation Charitable Trust played the Beach Street stage.
As darkness fell over the resort the stunning Auckland Airport Lantern Parade, featuring an array of colourful lanterns and a Chinese dragon, lit up the streets.
Earlier in the day, more than 200 people headed to nearby Kingston to enjoy mulled wine and roasted chestnuts on the famous vintage steam train at the Kingston Flyer Steam Powered Party.
Over at Queenstown’s five-star Hilton Queenstown hotel, festival wound down with two stylish foodie events – the Wakatipu Grill Jazz Lunch and The Life of Pinot with Peter Thornley which took guests on a delicious culinary journey featuring the best fresh, seasonal and local cuisine the region has to offer.