Publish date: 01/06/2018

The Rangiora Winter Festival is set to return this year, with a new name and a new district-wide focus.

Now called The Waimakariri Winter Festival, the event will see a week-long schedule of attractions taking place throughout the Waimakariri District, culminating in the popular Festival Day in Rangiora on Saturday, July 21st.

Event organiser Karl Horwarth says the changes were introduced to allow the event to become more inclusive. “The name change – from Rangiora Winter Festival to Waimakariri Winter Festival – broadens the event’s appeal, as well as allowing us to introduce satellite events from other towns in the region,” he explains.

The Winter Festival started in 2016 as a way to showcase the rebuilt town centre of Rangiora, post-earthquakes. It proved an instant success, with last year’s one-day event attracting nearly 10,000 visitors.

The new format sees the introduction of The Great Waimak Winter Sale, where participating retailers throughout the district will be offering discounts for the week leading up to the Festival Day. One shopper will win a $1500 cash prize for shopping at a participating store.

Karl says that the sale is intended to help promote local retail businesses in the Waimakariri throughout the festival week. “We wanted to get retailers involved and hopefully assist sales in a quieter winter period. We also want to encourage residents to shop local and support local businesses.”

In addition to the sale, the week-long festival schedule includes an outdoor movie and mini fireworks display, a KidsFest Kids Winter Party and a raft of other local events running between July 13th and 21st including the popular Fire & Ice Night Market, Light Up Kaiapoi with Lanterns, Mid-Winter Big Night Out, the Kaiapoi Art Expo and the Waikuku Beach Invigorator.

The Waimakariri Winter Festival Day on July 21st invites people to the centre of Rangiora for a full day of family-friendly attractions including bouncy castles, buskers, bumper boats, ice sculpting, pony rides, competitions and giveaways – including a trip to Singapore with a $1000 travel voucher. The festival will feature food trucks, live music and an outdoor movie starting at 4.30pm, followed by the mini fireworks display just before 7pm.

“There is so much going on and, best of all, almost everything is free thanks to our fantastic local sponsors,” says Karl.

The festival team is also on the hunt for volunteers to help out with the festival on Saturday, July 21st. “The Festival is a community event, organised by a charitable trust and run by a volunteer committee,” explains Karl. “We are committed to looking after our team of volunteers because without their help we simply could not create such a wonderful day for the community.”

Anybody interested in volunteering at the festival can fill in the volunteer form here or email Julia at waimakaririwinterfestival@gmail.com for more information.

For more information on the festival, visit www.waimakaririwinterfestival.co.nz