How did it start?
Fiesta of Lights was started by brothers Te Rangi and Tama Huata as a millenium project for Hastings.
" Tama and I visited the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Canada and loved it", said Te Rangi. The organisers showed us how they made their lights displays. We were inspired and opened in 1998. We're building a culture of positive memories for children."
Who runs the Fiesta of Lights?
Public Dreams Charitable Trust, Hastings provides training and jobs in the arts for people of all ages.
Who makes the light displays?
Hawke's Bay artists John George, Jil of Aotearoa, Chris Edmonds, Ricks Terstappen, Ally Rogers, Dave Tex Smith, Anthony Smith, James Harris and Billy Glover. They made 40+ light displays for us over the years.
Where does the money come from?
Grants, sponsorship and fundraising. We raised $35,000 before we open, most of this from selling retail fireworks for Guy Fawke's. This keeps entry costs down. Under 3 free.
Who funds us?
Hastings District Council,NZ Lotteries, Eastwater, Clubs Hastings, Trust House, Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc, Eastern & Central Trust, Lion Foundation, First Light Foundation, Creative Communities Hastings, Corys and other local businesses too. We do fireworks shows around the country and sell retail fireworks at Guy Fawke's in Hawkés Bay and Gisborne. From our Guy Fawke's retail fireworks sales in 2023 we bought a 20ft storage container and 12 new light displays.
What is the money used for?
Pay artists, rent Tomoana Showgrounds, buy lights & hardware, repairs, promotion and employ seasonal event staff. Some are high school and tertiary students.
What else do we do?
We assist Cornwall Park Osmanthus Garden Lantern Festival, Blossom Parade and Matariki.
We also earn from events outside Hawk's Bay. These include Dominion Road Moon Festival, Glen Innes Light Trail and fireworks displays from Auckland to Dunedin.