Snow party 'one of the best'

dDub plays to a large crowd on Coronet Peak at the closing of the Queenstown Winter Festival...
dDub plays to a large crowd on Coronet Peak at the closing of the Queenstown Winter Festival yesterday. Photo by JOanne Carroll
"One of the best ever" Queenstown Winter Festivals wrapped up yesterday with a huge day at Coronet Peak, featuring top New Zealand act dDub, festival director Simon Green said.

"The weather gods came to the party with tons of snow just before the opening and followed that up with perfect clear blue skies and cold, crisp days," he said.

Mr Green said Queenstown's Winter Festival was a celebration of all things winter which had grown from humble beginnings in 1975 into the Southern Hemisphere's biggest winter party.

"Thousands of people now come from around New Zealand and the world for the annual festival, with the Tourism Research Institute putting the overall cash injection back into the economy at a massive $17.3 million," he said.

The numbers at each event had been "spectacular".

Prime Minister John Key officially got the party started on June 25.

New events had been well received, especially the Thriller in the Chiller on June 27 at Queenstown Events Centre.

The Festival Parade and Family Fun Day, the Day on the Bay and a concert by Kiwi rock legends Dragon during Mardi Gras were all put on at no cost.

"It was a struggle providing free events from a funding prospective.

It's a challenge for the committee to keep the level of free events when our community funding has declined over the past couple of years," he said.

The committee would be analysing events to determine what could go, stay or be introduced next year.

It was also going to update the data on the economic benefit to the economy.

Thousands joined in the fun on the final day of the festival at Coronet Peak with Mountain Bikes on Snow followed by a closing concert featuring dDub.

The on-mountain wrap party also heralded the first night-skiing session of the season.


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