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By India• 17 Oct 2018 • 1 Comments
Last year, the organisers of the first ever HighLight: Carnival of Lights expected 30,000–50,000 people to attend. They got 120,000. “It blew us out of the water,” says carnival director Carla Steed. This weekend’s event is bound to be even bigger, better and brighter. Here are five reasons you shouldn’t miss it.
Clearly. But this is not your average light show. In keeping with the year’s “Wild Things” theme, Lower Hutt’s Riddiford Garden will be divided into five zones – Land & Sky, Below the Waves, Bugtopia, Elements and Fairytale Land – each featuring dazzling light installations from some of the world’s most innovative designers. Carla’s prediction for crowd favourite is Octopoda, a steampunk octopus that lights up when you bang on the drums attached to each of its tentacles. Colin the T-Rex, a six-metre-tall dinosaur made out of scrap metal, is also bound to be a showstopper.
This is why HighLight is called a carnival, not a festival, Carla says. “The performances are what set us apart from other light events.” This year, there’s MEGAThermal, a huge globe on the roof of the library with a performer inside replicating different storm patterns, as well as juggling, hula hooping, drumming and more.
We love our food trucks in Wellington, don’t we? Seventeen of the best will be parked at HighLight, or, if a sit-down meal is more your style, you can settle in at one of the four on-site dining establishments, including the excellent new Bellbird Eatery at The Dowse.
Kids and kid-at-heart adults can turn themselves into walking art pieces with face-painting and glow-in-the-dark tattoos. HighLight is also bringing back last year's super-popular glow book-bug workshop, where kids can make their own bookmarks complete with LED reading lights. And I'm personally excited about drawing on the walls of the Dowse with a special LED pen. (Granted, it fades after five minutes, but it's the closest I'll ever get to having my artwork exhibited there).
Each of the four nights will end with a bang thanks to the epic fireworks display. It starts at 9.30pm, with a 15-minute performance beforehand, and – like everything at HighLight – it's guaranteed to wow you.
HighLight: Carnival of Lights is on every night from 19 to 22 October 2018, 7–11pm, at Riddiford Garden in Lower Hutt. Entry is free, but volunteers will be on hand to raise money for the carnival’s charity partner, Te Omanga Hospice.
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