TSB Festival of Lights kicks off with a bang for opening weekend

Events and Exhibitions Local Featured news

NPDC’s award winning TSB Festival of Lights kicked off on Saturday with thousands turning out to Pukekura Park and a romantic marriage proposal. 


Eleven new light installations from Aotearoa New Zealand, Thailand, and Peru feature in the festival, which attracted locals and out of town visitors. There were plenty of smiles on children’s faces thrilled to see some features such as the Sleeping Giant and Glow Zone in the mix.


Also popular was opening night act Allen Stone, this show had to be moved to TSB Showplace where the audience danced and sang the night away as well witnessing a proposal to Stone’s well-known track ‘Consider Me’.


“It’s great to be back,” says NPDC Events Leads Lisa Ekdahl.


“After the months of work our team puts in leading up to the festival, opening weekend is always an exciting time when people are in the park enjoying the lights and entertainment, it makes all that hard work worth it. We’re looking forward to the delivering the rest of the season with our jam-packed programme,” says Lisa.


The festival will run from Saturday 16 December 2023 to Sunday 21 January 2024 with lights on every night, rain or shine from 8.30pm to 11pm. Events run throughout the five weeks which can be found at festivaloflights.nz


Caption: Poet’s Bridge – Photographed by Charlotte Curd.

Fast Facts:

  • Up to 140,000 people visit the TSB Festival of Lights in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park each summer.
  • Entry to the festival and events are free
  • The 2022/2023 festival season post analysis study by Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) showed it pumped more than $8m into the local economy with 28 per cent of total visits from out of region.
  • Last year’s festival also had a 92% visitor satisfaction rating and 100% from event performers and entertainers.
  • In 2022 the TSB Festival of Lights won two New Zealand Event Association Awards from their last season, including Best Government Event 2023 and New Zealand’s Favourite Event 2021 (as voted by the public).
  • Up to 10,000 people attend the festival’s free New Year’s Eve event.