HighLight Carnival returning to illuminate Wellington

Published on 22 November 2022

Mayor Guppy with organisers - web.jpg

HighLight Carnival of Lights is gearing up to return to Wellington in 2023, thanks to a partnership with Late Night Lights and Upper Hutt City Council.

The major event is known for delivering immersive experiences that include performers, artists, and light installations colliding to create a fun carnival atmosphere. 

The festival will be held in and around Brewtown in Upper Hutt over Easter weekend, running from Thursday 6 April to Sunday 9 April 2023.

The festival, which originally took place at Riddiford Gardens in Lower Hutt has not been held since Labour weekend 2019. When the ownership changed hands in 2021 it was set up as a charitable trust, Late Night Lights.

Upper Hutt City Council saw a great opportunity that ticked all the boxes and partnered with Late Night Lights, enabling the popular event to operate once again.

The festival will be a ticketed event in 2023 with tickets now on sale for a cost of $10 for adults with children 14 and under free. Tickets will provide access to the carnival hub at Brewtown, however several light installations throughout Upper Hutt can be enjoyed by the public at no cost. 

Festival Creative Director Carla Steed says, “it’s wonderful to bring the popular festival back to life for the public to enjoy”. 

“Our energetic team has been working hard behind the scenes to bring together an illuminating experience like no other for an enhanced festival experience.  We have already secured a number of local, national, and international light installations including Kaktos which is a giant inflatable cactus forest and Checkmate which is an engaging chess board experience that transcends culture and language.”

“HighLight is a uniquely Wellington region event, which provides a creative laboratory for performers, artists, and technicians to innovate and grow. I’m really looking forward to bringing to life a journey with twists and turns for event attendees and delivering a spectacular carnival of lights for all ages.”

Upper Hutt City Council is providing funding for the festival through its event fund which is designed to enhance the identity of the city, and to create a prosperous, proud, and vibrant community.

Wayne Guppy, Mayor of Upper Hutt, says hosting the event is huge for the city and the local economy, which he says is much needed as it recovers from COVID-19.

“This is going to be great for Upper Hutt and I’m looking forward to seeing the community come together and support Highlight. We’ve seen how events like this create a buzz and provide cultural, safe, and accessible experiences to locals and visitors alike, it’s why they’re so important for our city.”

Autism New Zealand is the chosen charity partner for HighLight 2023 and part of the Carnival’s programme will include low sensory evening, ensuring it is accessible and inclusive for all. 

To find out more about HighLight: Carnival of Lights and purchase tickets please visit http://highlight.org.nz/

Mayor Guppy with organisers - web.jpg

Photo (L to R):  HighLight organiser Carla Steed, Brewtown Manager Phil Gorman, Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy and Autism NZ Chief Executive Dane Dougan.