Mardi Gras mayhem moves

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Mardi Gras mayhem has been moved to the final Sunday of Queenstown Winter Festival this year. 

Up to 20,000 people are expected to hit the streets for the hugely popular evening of free entertainment. 

Organisers have shifted the party from its usual Tuesday slot to Sunday to bring it in line with the start of the school holidays. 

Festival director Simon Green says: “The feedback we’ve had from local families is the Tuesday night is very hard on the kids. 

“And we’ve talked for a long time about having a big free party to celebrate the end of the festival.” 

Earnslaw Park stage will see Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison perform with his side project Babysitters Club, along with seasoned festival rock-roots act dDub. 

A separate Beach Street stage, which showcases about a dozen Queenstown bands involved in local charitable trust Rock­Formation, is expected to be a hit with the younger crowd. 

“They love it,” says Green. 

“It’s an amazing showcase for local bands and a great opportunity. It always draws a strong crowd.” 

Kerrison is a mentor for RockFormation and will again hold workshops for the aspiring Queens­town musicians. The Lantern Parade winds through the streets from 6pm, with build­ing workshops held in preceding days. 

Mardi Gras is July 1, 4-8.30pm.