Uplifting hopes for carnival

Katrina Thomson with her fantail lantern ready for the midwinter celebration. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Katrina Thomson with her fantail lantern ready for the midwinter celebration. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Organisers hope seeing hundreds of hand-held lanterns twinkle their way around the Octagon will uplift and warm the public during Saturday's Midwinter Carnival.

The free community event, which was a regular event on Dunedin's calender to mark the longest night of the year, was cancelled last year due to the weather, but co-ordinator Karin Reid was thinking positive this year.

The procession of lights will feature 300 lanterns made by members of the public at workshops in recent weeks and some giant sculpted lanterns, all with a theme - New Zealand Birds.

Performance groups such as drummers, stilt walkers and medieval chanters would also take part in the procession, she said.

"The lights symbolise the days growing longer and we hope everyone goes away uplifted spiritually and warmed."

There would also be plenty of music, fireworks and a market, with stall holders providing winter fare, Ms Reid said.

Other midwinter celebrations in Dunedin include the mayor's breakfast this morning to raise money for the city's foodbanks and a polar plunge at St Clair on Sunday.

Scott Base staff will also mark the event with a seven-course formal dinner tonight.

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