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Winter wonderland arrives

Children having fun in the snow dome. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Carterton’s Heart of Winter Festival isn’t set to begin until tonight, but has already racked up so much attention that punters can expect to wait in line for a turn on the skating rink.

The festival, which aims at bringing visitors to Wairarapa during the winter months, kicked off last night with the annual Charles Rooking Carter awards, which celebrate residents who have contributed to the Carterton community.

But the highlight of the festival looks set to be the synthetic ice skating rink and snow dome at the Carterton Events Centre, which has already had 2600 people express interest in attending tonight.

The Clareville Bakery mid-winter Dutch dinner was another popular event, having already sold out.

“We’ve had a huge amount of interest,” event co-ordinator Robyn Cherry-Campbell said.

“The numbers are massive.”

For $10, people can hire skates and enjoy about 40 minutes of skating time before heading to the snow dome where a gold coin will give you access to synthetic snow which can be used for snowball fights and building snowmen.

Mrs Cherry-Campbell said tickets will be available at the door for the skating rink but there will be a booking system in place to help manage the limited numbers allowed on the rink.

There will be plenty to do while waiting for a skating session time tonight with food trucks, markets stalls and fire artists all on site.

“Wairarapa is awesome for events and this festival shows Wairarapa can also have amazing events in winter.”

Other events in the festival includes Winter Star Date at Stonehenge Aotearoa tonight and Sunday, and Legends of the Winter Solstice on June 21 for all those interested in astronomy and viewing the night sky.

For children, there will be a pyjama story time, teddy bear sleepover and winter-themed crafts at the Carterton Events Centre on June 21, followed by a Pantomania show on June 24.

A family-friendly Asia and Friends Ethnic Night Market will be held at Carrington Park on June 23 in conjunction with a lantern festival, where children can parade through the park with lanterns available for free from the information centre, that they can decorate.

Further information can be found on the Carterton Heart of Winter Festival Facebook page.

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