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Glow popularity gives council plenty to ponder

Glow popularity gives council plenty to ponder
Glow in the Park volunteers Summer Foster, 14, Addy Judd, 13, and Sophia Aguila, 16, were kept busy with another big turnout to the light festival at the Tinwald Domain.

The future of Glow in the Park looks bright – but isn’t locked in yet.
The second year of the light festival in the Tinwald Domain attracted more than 17,000 people over two nights at the weekend, before rain washed out the third night on Sunday.
Even with one night scrapped, it meant crowd figures were well above the inaugural 2022 event, which had around 10,000 people over the three nights.
Despite the popularity of the event, there is no guarantee it returns in 2024, council chief executive Hamish Riach said.
“We’re currently gathering feedback from attendees, so we can make further improvements if Glow returns next year.
“We’re yet to confirm our event calendar for 2024, so we can’t promise that Glow will return at this stage.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the number of people who visited over the weekend and it’s clear from the very positive feedback we’ve received, that the event has strong community support.”
Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown hailed Glow as an excellent event, with the only snag being “it took a little while to get there ... because it was so popular the roads were congested”.
“Perhaps we do need another bridge.”
The inaugural Glow was held to celebrate EA Networks centenary and “it was so popular we thought why not do this again”, Brown said.
“We get sponsors on board, which is good so it doesn’t cost the ratepayer much money at all, and it is a free event.
“It is popular and we can probably build on it even more.”
The review into the event is already under way, with the public survey released to gather feedback before a council debrief will consider the future of the event, Riach said.
For the 2023 Glow the council had set aside $15,000 from its community event budget, he said, but the event “was largely made possible through the generous support of our event sponsors and volunteers”.
“We’re still tallying the final costs and income from the weekend, but we’re hopeful that the event will be delivered on or slightly under budget.”

  • By Jonathan Leask