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Call is out to Float a Wish

Call is out to Float a Wish

Tiny craft from last year's Float a Wish

Tiny rafts will float on the Queens Gardens’ duck pond this winter, in a magical night that’s all about kids, creativity and community.

Float a Wish on July 3 is the opening event for Light Nelson, and Coordinator Hilary Johnstone says it gives the primary school children of the region a night to ‘shine their light and share their wishes’ for the Nelson community.

She says there are already several schools fired up to take part, and it’s not too late for more to get on board, and for families to start thinking about making a tiny raft.

“It’s all about participation, the magic of light and the beauty of this event. We want to stress that a raft can be just a decorated paper plate with a tea light candle, though some kids or schools might want to explore engineered craft and concepts like balance and floatation,” she says. “The only guidelines are that materials used are to be biodegradable.”

As for the wish, leave it to the kids. Hilary says by asking kids “What would make Nelson a better place?” you can get them away from wishing for something they want for themselves and into thinking of others.

“This gives kids a chance to have their ideas heard,” she says. “Last year the wishes ranged from a new road for Cable Bay through to protection for sharks and a wish for a pizza and a cow for everyone.”

At Float a Wish this year there will be some additional attractions to draw the crowd away from the pond and make space for others.

“This year we’re going to have some more interactive stuff around the gardens such as a few performers, a school choir, musicians, the Light Nelson bike lighting up a tree with pedal power, shadow puppetry...that kind of thing,” Hilary says.

The website www.floatawish.co.nz has videos of last years event and instructions on how to make a flax-based raft.

Float a Wish will be at Queens Gardens, Thursday 3rd July, launching starts at 6pm.

Light Nelson follows Float a Wish on July 11-13. It is an outdoor gallery of art and technology installations from over 30 artists, also in the Queens Gardens and surrounds. Nightly 5.30-9:30pm, entry is free to both events.


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