Winterfest Street Party
Wednesday 28 June 2006
SHOCK FROCKS, FEAR FACTOR AND SPORTING SPECTACULAR
Queenstown’s biggest and best free street party turned on the magic once again as thousands turned out to celebrate the free Telecom Mardi Gras last night (Tues June 27) at the Lindauer Queenstown Winter Festival.
The fun started not long after nightfall as people bearing colourful masks and lanterns wound their way through downtown streets for the Mardi Gras Mayhem Community Parade, followed by performers, music, singing, dancing, great food and lots of mulled wine from 6pm until late.
A new zero waste campaign and controlled liquor area proved to be a winner on the night – only one glass bottle was found on Earnslaw Park after the event, just ten bins of general waste were taken away, and all other biodegradable cups, dishes and plates headed to the Cromwell worm farm or for recycling.
Earlier in the day, elder members of the community celebrated the festival in their own way at the MacTodd Seniors Luncheon. Among the 150 older folk from Queenstown, Wanaka and Central Otago, one elderly gentleman caught up with friends he hadn't seen for 20 years as youngsters from Wakatipu High School waited on tables.
Today’s SNICKERS Downtown Day was a resounding success with hundreds of visitors and workers from the town lining up in Earnslaw Park for a glimpse of the action.
The SNICKERS Hospitality Mentality saw teams from The Heritage Hotel, SNICKERS and Winter Festival pitted against each other in a hilarious challenge of portage, waitering and housekeeping techniques that probably won’t be used as best practices for the hotel industry. The Heritage Hotel team won through more devious means than pure skill in what was fun for all to watch.
The AJ Hackett Fear Factor Face Off challenge was ultimately won by the AJ Hackett team, however they faced stiff competition along the way from Queenstown Paraflights, Shotover Canyon Swing, Kawarau Jet, Shotover Jet and Cardrona Transport teams. Their very own horizontal bungy challenge put them in a good position moving into the food eating competition. The final challenge of the vertical rock climbing challenge was between AJ Hackett and Queenstown Paraflights where the AJ Hackett team hung on to win in grand style!
The Q92 The Breeze Drag Race started off in almost civilised fashion, but soon hair, manicured hands and hairy legs were flying as competitors showed their true colours in their attempts to be first across the line at whatever cost.
Miss Photogenic, winter festival director Simon Green as ‘Miss Candy Cane’ (motto “often licked, never beaten”) looked very girlie in a becoming blue ensemble complete with blonde tresses and stylish silver boots, while David Clarke ‘Elizabeth Windsor’ from Lakes District Museum was awarded Miss Friendly.
Miss Best Dressed, Graeme Glass ‘Ilene Bothways’ from AJ Hackett Bungy, was a crowd favourite with sexy legs encased in fishnet stockings and leopardskin skirt, while experienced Miss Personality, Destination Queenstown boss David Kennedy as ‘Clarice Stilton’, looked stunning in a pink and black outfit however failed to make it through the qualifying heat.
All winners were awarded a bottle of Lindauer champagne and a sash which will no doubt be treasured for months to come. Dressed in a purple fairy costume with (hairy) bare arms and low heels, Howard Nossiter aka ‘Irene Yankabolokov’ from Fresh Choice was crowned Miss Drag Queen 2006, and did her lap of honour holding her magnum of Lindauer, her sash and crown on her regal Lindauer Segway.
Other delights of the day will include Real Ballroom ‘Dancing with the Locals’ in the Memorial Hall this evening where Dancing with the Stars dancer Rebecca Nicholson is taking her proud grandmother, 80-year-old Nancy Nicholson.
The irrepressible Tony Veitch will be corralling the troops tonight at the one and only Mountain Scene Sporting Spectacular – a night guaranteed to amuse, outrage and get down and dirty if 2004’s inaugural event is anything to go by.
The Lindauer Queenstown Winter Festival is home of the Southern Hemisphere's ultimate winter celebration and runs from June 23 to July 2.
The festival continues tomorrow (Thursday 29 June) with the Speight’s Dog Derby at Coronet Peak and the Speight’s Dog Barking competition later that afternoon on the Village Green. Lindauer Top Bloke Ladies Night is sure to attract a crowd at the Memorial Hall and the Video Ezy Drive-In features ‘Grease’ and ‘First Descent’ at the Queenstown Events Centre.
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Phone: 03 441 2453 or 027 477 9394
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