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 Niagara Parks Board showed us how they made their lights displays. We were inspired and opened in 1998.
Our community has been coming along ever since then. We're building a culture of positive memories for children."
Who runs the Fiesta of Lights?
The event is run by Public Dreams Charitable Trust, Hastings. We provide educational and employment opportunities in the arts for people of all ages.
Who makes the light displays?
Hawke's Bay kinetic 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 during the year. We raise $27,000 before the gates 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 organise fireworks shows around the country and our fees contributes around 10% of our costs.
What is the money used for?
Pay artists, rent Tomoana Showgrounds, buy lights & hardware, repairs, promotion and employ seasonal event staff.
What else do we do?
We help Hastings Blossom Parade, Cornwall Park Osmanthus Garden Lights and Matariki.
We also earn from events outside Hawk's Bay. These include The Dominion Road Moon Festival, Taupo Winter Festival, Splore in Auckland, Glen Innes Light Trail and fireworks displays from Auckland to Dunedin.