18 Dec 2012

New look Festival of Lights a success

10:14 am on 18 December 2012

Pukekura Park in New Plymouth is all aglow at night as part of its annual Festival of Lights.

Light Couch at the Festival of Lights in Pukekura Park.

Light Couch at the Festival of Lights in Pukekura Park. Photo: RNZ

Despite criticism of a Wellington company taking over the spectacle, it's proving a hit with the public.

The dazzling show with the 800 lights in had a makeover this year after MJF Lighting was brought in to put it together.

Large glowing jellyfish and a bridge lit with hundreds of diamond-shaped lights are some of this year's attractions.

There had been some criticism of the council's decision to award the contract to MJF Lighting for three year, especially since the annual bill jumped by about $8000.

But New Plymouth District Council said it wanted to use a specialist lighting company and have a fresh look.

Events manager Tricia Logan said the change has been worth it, with excellent feedback so far.

The council expects 100,000 people will see the lights and various entertainment there until the festival ends on 26 January.

The festival is in its 15th year although light shows have been going on in some form since the park fountain was lit for the Queen's Coronation in 1953.