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Auckland Lantern Festival lights up the city

Auckland Lantern Festival lights up the city from start to finish

Starting with a lantern-only night this Thursday 13 February and closing with a spectacular fireworks finale from the Sky Tower on Sunday 16 February, the Auckland Lantern Festival is set to light up Auckland this weekend.

The festival – now in its 15th year – is held at Albert Park and Queens Wharf on the first full moon following Chinese New Year.

Eight hundred incredible hand-crafted lanterns will illuminate the night skies from 7pm at Albert Park on Thursday – allowing festival goers to enjoy the magical spectacle in all its glory, but without the hustle and bustle of food stalls and performances.

The full festival kicks off on Friday and runs through to Sunday night, with family-focused activities from 2pm at Queens Wharf and main stage cultural performances and over 100 food and craft stalls at Albert Park from 5pm.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says this year’s festival has something for everyone.

“If you’ve got kids and want to avoid the crowds you can still enjoy a Lantern Festival experience – come along to Queens Wharf in the afternoons, make some Chinese paper lanterns and watch an early evening movie,” says Mr. O’Riley.

“For those who love the buzz of throngs of people, flash mob dragon dancers and busy food stalls, they can soak-up the atmosphere at Albert Park and enjoy a rock concert with legendary Chinese metal band Tang Dynasty or ancient war drumming by a troupe from Shanghai.”

The Auckland Lantern Festival is also being celebrated at other venues throughout the city centre, including activities at the Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Museum (Sunday only) and an exhibition by students from Elam School of Fine Arts. For the first time ever, a full theatre production is part of the festival experience. “Lantern”, aptly set in Auckland on the eve of Chinese New Year, is playing at the Musgrove Studio from Monday 10 February.

Auckland Lantern Festival is organised by ATEED in partnership with Asia New Zealand Foundation, and this year welcomes ASB as principal sponsor.

ASB Executive General Manager of Marketing and Communications Roger Beaumont says they are proud to be the new principal sponsor of the Auckland Lantern Festival.

“The Lantern Festival is a highlight of Auckland's event calendar for many and celebrates the Chinese New Year as well as the unique culture that Auckland’s Chinese community contributes to Auckland City,” says Mr Beaumont.

The Auckland Lantern Festival closes on Sunday night at 10.30pm after the Tang Dynasty concert with a spectacular fireworks display – a fitting finale to the festival and the Chinese New Year celebrations.

ATEED acknowledges the support of principal sponsor ASB and other sponsors and supporters including Lotto New Zealand, Tip Top, HKETO (Hong Kong Economic and Trade office), Chinese Ministry of Culture, Cathay Pacific, COSCO, Barfoot & Thompson, China Travel Service, New Zealand Chinese Herald, Classic Hits, Fairfax Media and SKYKIWI.

More information about the festival programme can be found at aucklandnz.com/lantern.


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