Thrills, spills aplenty

Taking part in the '70s disco workout as part of the Queenstown Winter Festival yesterday are (from left) Kieran Bull, Mitzi Cole-Bailey, both of Queenstown, Jil Leydon, of Arrowtown, and Alyssa Gibbs, of Queenstown. Photo by Craig Baxter.There have been flares, platforms, afros and jive talking; thrills, spills, calamity and hilarity; shivering birdmen, bleeding runners and soaked spectators - and the best is yet to come.

Today the 2014 Queenstown Winter Festival reaches the half-way mark, with 28 events down and another 33 to go.

This afternoon those who have been embracing the 40th annual festival and find themselves in need of some fresh air and exercise can get their fill at Earnslaw Park during Crossfit Queenstown's Winter WOD, before a sold-out crowd gets an abdominal workout of a different kind at the Queenstown Memorial Centre tonight during the Comedy Debate, featuring Urzila Carlson, Brendhan Lovegrove, Paul Ego, Dai Henwood and Simon McKinney.

However, tomorrow, all eyes will be on Earnslaw Park again with the ever-popular Drag Race.

The event, which has been run since 1991, will have some of the resort's most respected businessmen who have competed in the event over the past 23 years once again don high heels, wigs, lipstick and false everything to race around Earnslaw Park for honour and glory.

Competing tomorrow will be Ngai Tahu Tourism southern regional general manager David Kennedy, who first competed in 1991 and went on to complete about 12 races, before eventually retiring once he reached ''the pinnacle of my career''.

''I was on the back straight and only won once because all the front-runners fell over.''

Mr Kennedy will be joined by Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd, lawyer Graeme Todd, Queenstown Lakes district councillor Craig Ferguson, Mark Pullar of Roost Mortgage, former festival director Simon Green and Inappropriate Marketing's Mark Wilson.

On Thursday, the action will move to Coronet Peak for the annual Dog Derby, where entrants and their dogs will race from the top of the ski area to the bottom, before the dogs must bark on command at Earnslaw Park during the Dog Barking event.

On Friday, Eichardt's Tavern will be recreated at the Queenstown Memorial Centre, there will be a dodgeball competition from noon and the first opportunity for night skiing in the 2014 season at Coronet Peak.

Action aplenty will round out the 2014 festival, including Mountain Mayhem, the Thriller in the Chiller charity boxing event and ice hockey on Saturday, ending on Sunday with the community carnival on the streets of Queenstown.


Festival programme

Tuesday, June 24

10am-10pm: Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Village Green, $10 child, $20 adult, $50 family.

Noon: Crossfit Queenstown Winter WOD, Earnslaw Park.

5.30pm: Ski and Board Workshop, Searle Lane and Social, R18.

7pm: Comedy Night, Queenstown Memorial Centre, $69.


Wednesday, June 25

10am-10pm: Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Village Green, $10, $20, $50 .

Noon: Downtown Day - Hospitality Race, Cup and Cake Challenge, Drag Race, Earnslaw Park.

6.30pm: Jaimie and Bec's Winter Kitchen, Memorial Centre, $45.

9pm: Silent Disco, 1876 bar, R18.

9pm: Wednesday Lates with Brendhan and Urzila, Vinyl Underground, $29, R18.


Thursday, June 26

10am-10pm: Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Village Green, $10, $20, $50.

Noon: Dog Derby, Coronet Peak, $20, R18, registrations close 11am.

3pm: Dog Barking, Earnslaw Park, R18 to enter, registrations close 2pm.

7pm: Avalanche Awareness Seminar, Memorial Centre, gold coin donation.

9pm: Karaoke Night, SkyCity Casino, R20.

9pm: Most Eligible Boarder Party, Vinyl Underground, R18.


Friday, June 27

From 7am: Eichardt's Tavern Revisited, Memorial Centre, costs vary.

10am-10pm: Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Village Green, $10, $20, $50.

Noon: Dodgeball, Earnslaw Park, R18.

4pm: Night Skiing, Coronet peak, ski pass required.

7pm: Ice hockey - Southern Stampede v Botany Swarm, Ice Arena, costs vary.

9pm: Live entertainment with Calico, SkyCity Casino, R20.


Saturday, June 28

9am: Arts and Crafts Market, Earnslaw Park.

10am-10pm: Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Village Green, $10, $20, $50.

10.30am: Kids Magic Show, O'Connell's Mall.

Noon: Mountain Mayhem - Suitcase Race, Dash for Cash, Musical Chairs, Coronet Peak.

2.30pm: Family Fun Day, Memorial Centre.

5.30pm and 8.15pm: Magic in the Sky, Skyline Restaurant, costs vary.

6pm: Thriller in the Chiller, Events Centre, costs vary.

7pm: Ice hockey - Southern Stampede v Botany Swarm, Ice Arena, costs vary.

9.30pm: Live entertainment with The Hard Yards, SkyCity Casino, R20.

9.30pm: Neil Chilton, SkyCity Wharf Casino, R20.


Sunday, June 29

10am-10pm: Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, Village Green, $10, $20, $50.

11am: Slopestyle Invitational, Remarkables Terrain Park, ski pass required.

Noon: Kids' Ice Cream Dig, Remarkables Park Town Centre, registration required.

12.30pm: Wine Matching Lunch, Wakatipu Grill - Hilton Queenstown, $79.

4pm: Community Carnival, downtown Queenstown.

4pm: Michael Hill International Violin Recital, Memorial Centre, costs vary.