“We’ll be keeping lots of surprises under wraps before the Queenstown Winter Festival programme reveal in May and right up to the start on 22 June,” said Lisa Buckingham, Queenstown Winter Festival Director.
“What I can say, to answer the question that we are being asked the most, is that the iconic fireworks display will take place on Friday 23 June as well as a special Queenstown Winter Festival opening that is planned for the evening of Thursday 22 June,” said Ms Buckingham.
Announced in July 2016, the biggest development for the 43rd Queenstown Winter Festival is that it is now a four-day weekend of winter celebrations that will take place from 22-25 June 2017.
“It’s been liberating and challenging to start with a clean slate, reviewing what has come before and what will take the Festival into its next chapter,” said Ms Buckingham.
Tuesday 14 March will mark 100 days until the opening and the programme that is shaping up will feature favourites and include new elements all within the new action-packed four-day format.
“Designing the Festival programme is always equal parts tradition – going with the favourites, the tried and true, and seat-of-your-pants risk taking – trying something new that you back the Festival team to pull off and our fans to embrace,” said Ms Buckingham.
An exciting advantage of the four-day Festival is creating a long weekend that domestic and Australian visitors want to travel to Queenstown for and that locals will embrace says Ms Buckingham.
“While the business focus of the Festival is to attract visitors to Queenstown for the start of the winter season, the Festival wouldn’t fly without engaging the local community and the energy participation by businesses and residents brings,” said Ms Buckingham.
This year the local business community is encouraged to participate in the programme development. The Festival is working with Downtown QT to engage with local businesses and a meeting held on Monday 13 March to discuss opportunities with Downtown QT members.
“Bars and restaurants can pitch for ideas to include in the programme and downtown retailers are being canvassed for a retail initiative,” said Ms Buckingham.
Details of the 43rd Queenstown Winter Festival programme will stay under wraps until it is released in May 2017. The best way to be the first to know is to sign up to the Friends of Festival mailing list on the Festival website, and follow the Festival on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.