Must-see and free

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Queenstown’s 2010 Winter Festival has some stunning ticketed shows – but there are plenty of no-cost events, too. 

Here’s Mountain Scene’s Top 10 picks for how to get the most out of this year’s biggest party for free.
1 American Express 

Opening Party and Fireworks
Friday, June 25
Celebrate festival’s kick-off with the first of the major street parties.
Headliners:
Pipeworkz – from Invercargill, one of New Zealand’s most remarkable entertainment experiences.
Lynch Mob – the local music legends present the best of their Pink Floyd show recently staged at Cecil Peak.
Fireworks:
Prime Minister John Key will hopefully be on hand to formally declare it’s party time.

2 Oaks Hotel and Resorts Festival Parade and
Family Fun Day
Saturday, June 26

Take to the streets and enjoy the action from this year’s feelgood Festival Parade.
There will be floats aplenty from businesses and community groups – so get your entries in now.
Family fun follows at Earnslaw Park with bouncy castles, hula hoops, snowman-making and a special appearance by Ronald McDonald and his magic show.

3 More FM
Day on the Bay
Sunday, June 27

Slightly crazy birdmen and women leap from the pier in “flying” contraptions, Undy 500 racers sprint down the beach in their jocks, bras and panties, and there’s Splash and Dashes for those prepared to dive into Queenstown Bay, swim ashore and bolt to the finish for a cash prize.
Old festival favourite the Jet Sprints returns to bring Queens­town Bay alive. You can enter now.

4 Pulse Fitness
Aerobics on the Park
Monday, June 28

Bust out the spandex and get down to Earnslaw Park on Monday morning for aerobics with the team at Pulse Fitness.
Go retro before breakfast at 7am or body jam at 5.30pm.

5 Air New Zealand Mardi Gras
Tuesday, June 29
Three stages, 13 bands. This is going to be the biggest Mardi Gras in the festival’s history.
Earnslaw Park will come alive with the sounds of Queenstown rock covers band The Cartel, Melbourne-based The Jefferson, hot new group I Am Giant – featuring former BlindSpott drummer Shelton Woolright – plus Kiwi rock veterans Dragon.
Rockformation, a gathering of young musical talent, will take over Beach Street with up to six bands, including Auckland up-and-comers Long Story Short.
Cow Lane will also host a Mardi Gras dance party with DJs taking to the streets.

6 Speight’s Summit
Downtown Day
Wednesday, June 30

Get your team entry in for the Dodgeball Championship – yes, just like the movie – and the Q92 More FM Drag Race, which features burly Queenstown blokes in their best skirts, lippy and high heels.
Dodgeball continues under
lights for the knockout finals
after 5pm.

7 Speight’s Dog Derby
& Dog barking
Thursday, July 1

Get up to Coronet Peak for all the action at two Dog Derby races – one is for the townies and the other is dedicated to the
professionals from the country.
Then it’s everyone down to the Village Green for the hilarity that is the dog barking – plus look out for a new twist this time…

8 Air New Zealand Rail Jam
Friday, July 2 
Go early to secure a prime spot and watch New Zealand’s best skiers and snowboarders show their stuff on Earnslaw Park as the mountain comes to town.
Great sounds, prizes and Rail Jam action.

9 Grabaseat
Mountain Mayhem
Saturday, July 3

Hit the snow at Coronet Peak for all the wacky fun at Grabaseat Mountain Mayhem – hearty annuals here include the suitcase race, dash for cash, musical chairs plus a new event, the skiboot toss!

10 Jim Beam
Closing Concert
Sunday, July 4

celebrate the rocking
week-that-was as festival favourites dDub return to
Coronet Peak for the inaugural night ski of the season and live concert on the deck.