11,000 people joined the Hororata community on Saturday 13th May for the Hororata Glow Festival. Selling out a week before those who managed to secure tickets witnessed a spectacular festival, the likes of which cannot be seen anywhere in the South Island.
“Here in Hororata we pride ourselves on creating amazing experiences for people. This The Hororata Glow Festival is no exception. The vibe of the whole week leading up to it was one of excitement and to see all the hard work pay off and have 11,000 happy people is just the best feeling for all the team involved,” said Cindy Driscoll from the Hororata Community Trust.
Right from when gates opened there was something for people to experience from live music, UV experience, face painting with fairies, stalls, science demonstrations and more. The Ballooning Canterbury interactive area where people got to talk to pilots, look in balloon baskets and walk through a giant cold inflated hot air balloon was a hit.
Buster the Bulldog, a special shape hot air balloon from the UK was the star attraction inflating just before dark. Buster was joined by 8 other hot air balloons for a spectacular Night Glow. In a New Zealand first, the Night Glow was choreographed with lighting, flame cannons, sparklers and a rocking soundtrack that had the whole crowd dancing.
Following the Night Glow the magic didn’t end as glowing entertainers swept through the crowd dressed in giant fairy wings as the Capitol City band kept the party going. In another first, the cold inflated balloon walk through was put up again after the Night Glow and people could walk through while laser lights danced on the envelope.
Ballooning Canterbury was responsible for bringing the hot air balloons to the area. The balloonists enjoyed flights together in the days leading up to the event. Chief Pilot Michael Oakley said “We want to keep evolving with the Night Glow and the experiences we give people at the festival. Having Buster here was very cool, the night time walk through is nothing I have seen done at any event and the light show accompanying the Glow was epic. We already are dreaming up what we can do next time
“The best thing about the Hororata Glow Festival is to see the joy it brings to so many people. The volunteers get a real buzz out of being part of such a magical event. We love welcoming the visiting balloonists to our community and they pulled out all the stops to put on a spectacular show in quite challenging wind conditions.
To everyone who was part of the Hororata Glow Festival, from volunteers, sponsors, funders, entertainers, stall holders, and of course, Ballooning Canterbury and all the balloon crews, thank you for all you do. We have a very special community and can be so proud of everything we do together.”
The Glow enables the Hororata Community Trust to support the community to embark on our next project which is developing the Hororata Community Hub and saw 15 community groups involved with their own fundraising or promotion.