Giant spider set to ensnare crowd

Four-leg stilt walker Rhys Latton practises his spider act ahead of the Midwinter Carnival this weekend. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
Four-leg stilt walker Rhys Latton practises his spider act ahead of the Midwinter Carnival this weekend. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
Rhys Latton will have possibly the best view of proceedings at this weekend's Dunedin Midwinter Carnival - one of the perks of being a giant spider.

Mr Latton has been stilt walking for more than 15 years and has performed at the Midwinter Carnival five times. Performing as a giant four-legged spider was actually easier than walking on just two stilts, Mr Latton said.

''They really get into it - the crowd - and they are calling out to you.''

Festival artistic director Juliet Novena Sorrel said children were often quite surprised and excited when the spider came past them.

The giant carnival has ''A Winter Dreamland'' theme and will include thousands of performers thanks to all the members of the public who have made their own lanterns.

A bigger art team this year includes three specialist giant lantern makers who were using clever electric lighting techniques to spice up their huge creations this weekend.

The procession will take place on Saturday with a postponement date of Sunday if the weather is unsuitable. Music starts at 5.30pm and the procession starts at 6pm in the Octagon, finishing with a fireworks display.

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