Te Anau to switch on lights

23:22, Jun 25 2014
te anau lights
SET TO SPARKLE: Barker Electrical's Ralph Pickering, left, and Southland District Council Te Anau area engineer Nick Lewis which will brighten up Te Anau.

The darkest month of the year is set to sparkle in Te Anau when the town lights up for winter.

At 6.30pm on Friday the town will be flooded with light, with shops, street fronts and even the town Christmas tree lighting up for the Te Anau Winter Illuminations.

Organiser Jan Ludemann said the idea came about after discussions around town about how quiet it was in winter.

Te Anau thrives in summer but during the long dark winter months, holiday homes stand empty and main streets are virtually deserted.

Lighting up the town seemed a perfect remedy, she said.

She put the idea to the community last year and it was well supported. The event had "spontaneously" grown from there, she said.

This year, the street lights would turn off about 6.20pm, plunging the town into darkness for the big "switch on".

A World War II search light and siren would assist with the countdown.

Illuminations will last all July and include the Illuminate Dinner and Dance on Saturday night, a night ride organised by the cycling club and a night walk.

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The Southland Times