Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Fantasy in Lights spectacular

Enthralled children listening to stories
Fantasy in Lights is now a major, biannual event which combines themed lighting shapes with sound, storytelling, bubbles and smoke, kids discos and costumed animals, wandering through the natural environment in the historic gardens at Kowhai Park in Feilding, Manawatu, NZ.  Makino Rotarians have mastered the art of making the  light shapes, based on childhood memories, supported by fairy and laser lights, all placed to enhance the large native trees, pond, wishing well, winding pathways and bridges inside the park.  Natural areas along the route lend themselves to a specific theme, such as the scary bridge, jungle, tunnel and sailing ships. Some shapes have moving parts to bring them to life with sound effects added.

The event attracts families from around the lower North Island and its uniqueness is that it is held in the middle of winter, every night, for a fortnight of the July school holidays! Children come along in their pajamas under their warm jackets, wearing gumboots, gloves and hats and to see their faces light up makes the hard work involved worthwhile, Rotary Club of Makino members say. The event continues to have great support and partnerships with local businesses, the council and the Central Energy Trust.

This year, Makino Rotary donated $5000 of the proceeds to the local Fielding Police blue light discos, where the Rotarians also provide manpower for their regular discos for the local youth.

The Rotary Club of Makino plans to maintain the project, so are always on the lookout for new ideas, new lighting  and more volunteers.  The club managed and sourced funding for the initial installation of the underground power supply, including cabling for lighting and sound in the park.  24 permanent floodlights have been added into the park, so it can be used all year round for other activities and events.  During the event, the park has directional signs, rope lighting and security volunteers to guide visitors around the winding pathways.