Queenstown Primary pulls off fest parade win


Hard work by 600 Queenstown Primary kids has paid off – they’ve won best community float at Winter Festival’s parade today.

Queenstown Primary took out the award with a 1937 convertible Chevrolet bus covered in the artwork of the kids.

The pupils were asked to make heart-shaped art with pictures or words relating to what they love about their town.
Remarkables Experience owners Neville and Margaret Bryant have been lending their bus to the school for it’s entry in the American Express Festival Street Parade for the past few years.

“It’s good fun and I enjoy doing it,” Neville says.

A Queenstown Primary choir led the way on foot, with the float following behind with about 40 students onboard the bus.

Teacher Muireann Carr says there was a last minute rush this morning to get the last of the hearts on the bus.

Each year the school enters the parade with artwork from pupils.

Bungy adventure tourism pioneers AJ Hackett were judged best business float, fittingly coinciding with their 25th birthday year.

The victory comes after the iconic Queenstown company last won the best business float during their 20th birthday celebrations.

AJ Hackett marketing coordinator Zelia Horrell says they’re very proud to pick up the gong – a magnificient Maori carving sponsored by Ngai Tahu Tourism, which will occupy pride of place at the bungy centre out at the Kawarau Bridge jump site.

Horrell says float’s crepe paper decorations around a giant birthday cake needed a last-minute patch-up this morning.

“We’d pretty much finished it yesterday but on the drive into town today the sleet and snow took all our crepe paper off.

“We had to frantically redecorate.”

Horrell thanks AJ Hackett transport manager Darren Schwalger for contributing the “man work” to their parade entry. 

Prior to the parade, the second annual Frontrunner Golden Mile – a two-lap running race around Queenstown’s streets – was taken out by an Olympic hopeful.

Wanaka’s Oska Inkster-Baynes, 22, won it in four minutes and 33 seconds, blitzing a field that included serious runners plus plenty of costumed entrants – including one guy who was dressed as a knight and did it in full metal armour.