Share your heart
Share your heart

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Disco dancers
Disco dancers

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Thomas the train
Thomas the train

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Our final farewell to a dear mate

Billy Glover our Fiesta of Lights production manager for 19 years unexpectedly 'died in the saddle' on Wednesday 8 December 2021 doing what he loved best, leading our crew to set up the lights ready for thousands of delighted children. He had health issues and nursed himself really well for the past 5 years. We are all hurting inside but also happy he is in a good place now. We're celebrating Billy and dedicated this year's Fiesta to him. 

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. They 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 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 raise $27,000 before we open. 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 our fees contributes around 10% to buy new lights. 

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 help Hastings Blossom Parade, Cornwall Park Lantern Festival and Matariki.

We also earn from events outside Hawk's Bay. These include The Dominion Road Moon Festival, Taupo Winter Festival, Splore, Glen Innes Light Trail and fireworks displays from Auckland to Dunedin.