Party kicks off Queenstown Winter Festival

10:15, Jun 21 2013
Queenstown Winter Festival
PARTY ON: A revved up crowd of more than 10,000 people thronged Earnslaw Park in central Queenstown for the opening party of the Queenstown Winter Festival.

A  revved up crowd of more than 10,000 people thronged Earnslaw Park in central Queenstown for the opening party of the Queenstown Winter Festival tonight to enjoy a fireworks extravaganza and an hour of Dave Dobbyn's hits.

The Kiwi music legend took to the stage with 20 Wakatipu schoolchildren for a rendition of Slice of Heaven , which delighted the crowds, as food and mulled-wine tents did a roaring trade in the chilly 2 degrees temperatures.

TV comedians Paul Ego and Urzila Carlson, rugged up in hats and coats, were on hand to keep the troops entertained and rising young homegrown singers Holly Arrowsmith, and also Max Gunn and Emily Burns, were among the talented local lineup to thrill the crowds.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden welcomed the crowds to Queenstown and declared the 39th festival open, as the 10-day party got off to a roaring start.

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Queenstown Winter Festival
LIGHT IT UP: Fireworks light up the sky during the opening party for the Queenstown Winter Festival.

The Southland Times