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On Saturday 8 May 2021, the sun will set at approximately 5.23pm.
It will start getting dark everywhere - except for 61 Hororata Road; Hororata Domain, where over ten hot air balloons standing as tall as four giraffes will glow like Chinese lanterns at Hororata’s third biannual Glow Festival.
Ballooning Canterbury’s glowing balloons are the show piece but they are also divas, they will take centre stage depending on the wind anytime from 5.30pm, followed by Spectrum Light and Sound’s lighting effect show.
There will also be a fairy tree, an outdoor movie theatre, University of Canterbury science demonstrations, Mitre 10 Mega warm up cube, fairy lights, a walk-through hot air balloon, aerial performances and Heidi Coppard’s UV art zone as part of the festival.
Hororata Community Trust executive officer and event manager Cindy Driscoll says from 3pm to 8pm as people walk through the domain, there will be lots of cool bits of discovery.
“It’s really hard to describe how much we’ve packed into this festival. We wanted to expand our thinking around things that glow and make people understand this isn’t just about putting the balloons up. I want to see people smiling and glowing, as corny as that sounds, that’s what we are looking forward to the most, seeing people wowed by little bits and pieces throughout this event.”
There will be 30 food stalls ranging from Mexican to Japanese to Kiwi staples provided by some of Canterbury’s top food and beverage vendors, including Hororata’s classic Hororata Pie.
Every food vendor has approved compostable packaging as a part of the festival’s waste management plan to keep the planet glowing too.
With funding support from Selwyn District Council, 60-70% of the waste from the Glow Festival is saved from going to landfill, being composted and recycled.
“It’s really cool we can be environmentally responsible with what we do for our events,” says Cindy.
DJ Craig Shaw will be providing the beats, mixing dance songs with classic kiwi bops to get the whole crowd grooving.
Having DJed for 33 years and recently played in front of 4,000 people at Horncastle Arena’s Symphony, Craig is looking forward to DJing for the first time in Selwyn, returning to the place where he spent some of his childhood.
“I’ve definitely got a deep affinity with the area, I spent a lot of time exploring Selwyn on a BMX bike
with my friends. It’s just a nice distance to get out of town for an event, it’s something you can take your whole family to, it doesn’t matter what age you are, you’re going to have a great time.”
Cindy says people from all over New Zealand are booking to come and stay in Selwyn for the South Island’s only balloon glow event priced at $21.50.
“It’s about attracting people and showcasing what a cool district we are and celebrating what we got. If it can bring people in and help the tourism businesses that haven’t got overseas tourist, then it’s a great benefit for the whole district.”
In the week leading up to the festival, from 5-9th of May, key sponsor Ballooning Canterbury has the opportunity for you to join them in their two balloons flying around Selwyn, with eight other balloons from around NZ. Booking information: ballooningcanterbury.com/booking/booking-2/
“We have a really good time, nowhere else in New Zealand can you do this. It’s just a really good way of giving back to the community.” says Ballooning Canterbury’s chief pilot and executive Michael Oakley.
In 2019, 14,000 people attended the festival. This year, tickets will be selling fast with numbers capped at 10,000. So make sure you grab your tickets and get ready to glow!
Purchase tickets here: www.hororata.org.nz/hororata-night-glow/tickets/