Selwyn township ready for winter festival launch

Springfield will come alive on Saturday when its inaugural Winter Magic NZ festival is held.

Organisers Isabella Irsigler and Tara Keogh are basing the festival on the highly successful Blue Mountains’ Winter Magic Festival in Katoomba, Australia, held around the winter solstice each year.

The Australian event celebrates arts and performance, hosts a large parade and attracts up to 10,000 people.

The Springfield event will be at Tawera Hall, 9am to 3.30pm.

Irsigler and Keogh are organising singers, dancers, magicians and a puppet theatre to take to the stage.

There will also be about 50 market stalls, selling everything from art and colourful socks to antiques and pottery, while workshops include kokedama, origami, felting and trap building.

There will be lantern making for children preceding an early evening lantern walk around the village following the festival.

“The whole idea is to bring the community a lovely day, and celebrate connection, the tiny wonder of warmth and light during these dark winter evenings, and a magical time for everyone to enjoy,” Irsigler said.

The Springfield winter festival is based on a similar concept in Katoomba, New South Wales, held...
The Springfield winter festival is based on a similar concept in Katoomba, New South Wales, held around the winter solstice each year. Photo: Supplied
She said the idea of holding Winter Magic took hold when she was herself in Katoomba enjoying the festival there.

“It’s a big community event and I absolutely miss it,” she said.

Keogh has also been inspired by the Katoomba event after spending time in the Blue Mountains town.

Irsigler and Keogh have a lot in common.

They were both attracted to Springfield by its mountainous beauty after coming to New Zealand from the Northern Hemisphere originally, Irsigler from Austria and Keogh from England.

However, the pair said they had capitalised on their differences when it came to planning Winter Magic.

Irsigler trained as an art therapist and photographer, while Keogh’s background is in finance, logistics planning and infrastructure projects.

“We have been brimming with ideas, respectively leaning on our skills to share the organising which has made the journey fun,” Keogh said.

The pair hope the festival will become an annual event.

Money raised will go to Springfield School.