Way to glow: light festival draws 1200

Jack Farrell, of Alexandra, glows among the surrounding lights at his festival on Saturday, which...
Jack Farrell, of Alexandra, glows among the surrounding lights at his festival on Saturday, which went beyond expectations. PHOTO: TOM KITCHIN
A child's idea to hold a light festival near Alexandra not only exceeded his expectations but his family's too, as double the amount of people expected turned up.

Jack Farrell (12), of Alexandra, came up with the idea of the "Glow at The Packing Shed" festival when he saw Queenstown's Luma festival at Queen's Birthday Weekend.

Despite the short notice and quick planning, Jack's father Barry Farrell said event numbers exceeded expectations.

About 1200 people attended the Glow festival over the three nights - June 12-14 - easily beating the expected 600.

"I didn't expect this many people," Jack said.

"We got over 600 in the first two days.

"I think it's quite good everyone's having fun ... I like seeing how good it looks and the turnout."

The festival was an opportunity for families to see different lights in action, eat food and socialise, admire children's artwork and paint their faces with UV-style colours in the middle of winter.

Next year, he wanted to build on this year's success with another festival, building structures that reacted to UV lights, Jack said.

Mr Farrell said the turnout was "much bigger that we thought".

"The feedback's been very good ... The only downside is the cold."

Preparation for the event started about four weeks ago.

Jack said the most complicated part was fitting trees with fairy lights.

Local schools were part of the festival, contributing light- and recycling-themed artworks, which were on display at The Packing Shed.

Winners for the best artwork were, in equal placing, The Terrace School years 7-8, Alexandra Primary years 7-8 and Clyde Primary School years 2-3.

Winning classes would receive prizes from the Courthouse Cafe in Alexandra.

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