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TSB Festival of Lights smashes visitor record

Local News Our Work Lifestyle

This season’s TSB Festival of Lights has smashed the record for visitor numbers with more than 150,000 attending the NPDC-run event. 

The seven-week spectacular in our Green Flag-award winning Pukekura Park finished on Saturday 1 February with about 9,000 people enjoying the lights as the TSB Bowl of Brooklands hosted the sold-out Six60 concert.

NPDC Recreation and Culture Manager Teresa Turner says the record-breaking season, 20,000 more visitors than the previous record of 130,000 in 2015/16, was a fantastic achievement.

“We always try to make each season bigger and better and we well and truly delivered this year,” says Ms Turner. “To get more than 150,000 visitors is absolutely fabulous and down to the hard work of our staff as well the fantastic support from our volunteers and sponsors.

“Those visitors are great for our economy as well. They keep the tills ringing right across the District and hotels and motels full over the summer. 

“We’ve now got our work cut out for us to make 2020/21 even better! But we’re not resting on our laurels and the team is already looking ahead to next season.”

The Powerco Lights Up The Night New Year’s Eve celebration proved a major drawcard with 9,000 visitors seeing in 2020 in the park.

This season’s Festival included 14 new light features and crowds packed out the Hatchery and Fred Park lawns to see some great local, Kiwi and international artists. There was also great attendance at Summer Scene Kids and Summer Seniors events and the first Woofstock for dogs was a major hit.

The post-event analysis will look into how many of the 150,000 visitors were from outside of the region and also look into the economic benefits. Previous studies from Venture Taranaki found the Festival boosted the economy by about $5 million when there were 125,000 visitors in 2017/18.