The TSB Bank Festival of Lights dates for 2008-09 are 14th December 08 – 8th February 2009! This event is one of the more anticipated events of the year by many. It represents the start and continuation of the Christmas season and a truly wonderful event for the entire family to enjoy on a summer night in a beautiful park. I remember when I was 7 or 8 years old going to the lights for the first time with the family. The excitement and thrill of seeing the lights flashing as well as getting out of the house at night brings back some great memories, oh and not to mention I could count the number of sleeps to go until Christmas on my fingers. 🙂
The festival’s origins date back to 1953 when in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and a fountain with feature enhancing lights was installed in one of the lakes in Pukekura Park, New Plymouth. The first illuminations were created in the park in 1957, and from there displays grew alongside the Christmas Lights throughout the city streets.
The festival of lights itself started in 1993, and the TSB Bank Festival of Lights is now the longest running and most successful festival and arts event in Taranaki, attracting up to 150,000 visitors each year.
In 2005 the festival was named Creative New Zealand’s premier Cultural Festival and Arts Event and recently Pukekura Park and the TSB Bank Festival of Lights have advanced to the coveted “Mayfair” spot in the new version of New Zealand’s Monopoly board game.
Since 1993 the TSB Bank Festival of Lights has been managed by New Plymouth District Council. The festival delivers a wide-ranging programme of events, entertainment and a spectacular lighting display set against the backdrop of New Plymouth’s 52 hectare jewel, Pukekura Park.
A nightly entertainment programme held in Pukekura Park. Two open-air stages of entertainment over an eight-week period feature local, national and international performers. All performances are provided free to the local community and visitors to the district, leaving no-one in any doubt about where to go for a unique kiwi summer experience!
During the day activities and events are delivered throughout the New Plymouth District for children and their families. Activities include scavenger hunts, a Teddy Bears Picnic, circus acts, creative and artistic experiences and much more.
The festival of lights is one more reason why New Plymouth is voted the best city in the World and in New Zealand. This festival is almost a ritual and is one that many in the province are proud of. Every night there is entertainment and fun and it just all add to make New Plymouth a happening place