Mahurangi light brigade charging ahead

Twin sisters Aspen and Keira Burridge, 14, of Warkworth are gearing up to help turn local towns and villages into a winter wonderland for the new Mahurangi Festival of Lights, which will be held across the region from Friday, July 13 to Sunday, July 15.

Plans to light up the dark days of winter with a new regional weekend festival in mid-July are taking shape and gaining momentum, according to organiser Murray Chapman.

The Mahurangi Festival of Lights will include a range of events and attractions in local towns and villages, from laser shows and light displays to ice skating and real snow to play in.

Shops and businesses will light up their premises and Mr Chapman and his committee are hoping that homes throughout the region will enter into the spirit of the event by lighting up their properties, too.

“We’d love the whole area to get involved, the more the merrier,” he says. “I’d like to see lights on trees, on buildings, all over the place.

“Nothing really happens here in winter, so it would be lovely to have people from out of town come here to look at all the lights and get involved, and it would be nice just to bring a smile to people’s faces.”

Events in the diary so far include a dinner in Matakana with a 3-D projection, light and music show on Friday, July 13, and professional laser shows, food trucks and buskers in Warkworth on the night of Saturday, July 14.

In addition, there will be a skating rink and snow play at Lucy Moore Park, the Kowhai Coast Lions will be creating an artistic River Of Light display in Warkworth Museum’s op shop in Baxter Street, and Leigh Wharf will be illuminated over the water.

Mr Chapman is still hoping to get light displays and events up and running in Snells Beach, Point Wells, Omaha Beach and anywhere else that wants to get involved.

“We need to get people in this area working together to brighten up the region and to promote ourselves as a region,” he says.

Anyone with ideas, enthusiasm or expertise is encouraged to contact Murray Chapman on 0274 966550 or


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