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Winter lights festival returns to Mahurangi

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Sandy Beech

09 June 2024, 7:33 PM

Winter lights festival returns to MahurangiDazzling magic for all ages. Photo supplied.

The Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights is set to illuminate once again on Saturday, July 6.

The much-anticipated event promises a day packed with fun and entertainment for locals and visitors alike.

Starting at 11 a.m. and running until 9:30 p.m., the festival, held at Wharf and Baxter Street in Warkworth, marks its return with a host of attractions.

This year's festival will feature amusement rides, a variety of food trucks, live music, a magical tunnel of lights, and a funky lit disco dance floor.

One of the most beloved activities, glow-in-the-dark face painting, will be available for a gold coin donation.

The brainchild of Murray Chapman, Manager of One Mahurangi Business Association, and former More FM breakfast host Brent Harbour, the festival began in 2018 as a way to liven up the Mahurangi area during the quieter winter months.

Murray Chapman, One Mahurangi Business Association Manager.

"We wanted to create something special for the community," Chapman said. "Seeing everyone come together and enjoy the lights and festivities is incredibly rewarding."

The inaugural event drew about 3,000 people, with the Laser Light Show as the highlight.

The festival expanded in 2019 with the addition of the Parade of Lights, though it was put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the festival made a strong comeback in 2021, extending over two nights and significantly increasing its audience.

The success of the Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights is largely attributed to the dedication of volunteers.

Brent Harbour, former More FM Rodney Breakfast Host.

Chapman and Harbour, alongside a core team including Robyn Kellian, Peter and Carol Henderson, Grant Henderson, Brian Oakes, John Peel, Clyde Tukaiora Connell, Tanja Dove, and Rachel Callender, have worked tirelessly to ensure the festival's success.

"We couldn't run this event without such a wonderful collective effort," Chapman noted, expressing gratitude for the community's support.

This year’s festival schedule includes the ITM Parade of Lights from 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., followed by a live performance by Rumpus Machine from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The evening will culminate in the Laser Light Show from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a spectacle that has become a staple of the event.

The Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights not only offers entertainment but also fosters a sense of community spirit and togetherness.

"It's a magical time for everyone," Harbour said. "Seeing the joy on people's faces makes all the hard work worthwhile."

As the festival continues to grow, the organisers are committed to maintaining its charm and community focus.

With attractions and activities for all ages, the Mahurangi Winter Festival of Lights is poised to be a highlight of the winter season, bringing warmth and light to the heart of locals.