The Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights is an annual event of lights, music and fun celebrating the Lyttelton community, Matariki, the Māori New Year and the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.
The Festival runs over nine days from 18 to 27 June, and this year incorporates the Alliance Française Christchurch Musical Festival on opening night. The programme features a street party (the dress up theme is 'Futuristic'), a masquerade ball, music, waiata, food and wine, live poetry performances, storytelling, and, of course, fireworks.
Highlights of the 2016 programme of events [2319 KB PDF] include:
Saturday 18 June
- Matariki Celebration 10am - 1pm, Albion Square: Cultural performances and music.
- Puppets at the Port St Saviour’s Church at Holy Trinity, 10am - 2:30pm: Including favourites Liz Weir, and Natural Magic
- Grand opening cabaret, Lyttelton Arts Factory, 7.30pm (already sold out)
- Alliance Française Christchurch Music Festival
Sunday 19 June
- Pizza for the People 4pm, LyttelPungaPictureClub: Share a pizza, movie and music.
- Mid Winter Candle Lit Feast 7pm, Preserved, Diamond Harbour
- The Basement Poetic III 7pm (doors open 6pm)
Wednesday 22nd June
- Alice in Candyland 9pm, Civil & Naval: Burlesque performance, dress-up encouraged.
Tuesday 21st June
- The Science of Light 3.30pm - 4.30pm, Lyttel Library: Science Alive session for kids.
- LIFT Library Film Evening 7pm, The Portal
Wednesday 22nd June
- Conversation Dinner 6.30pm, The Portal
- Quiz Night on The Deck at Freemans 7pm: Fundraiser for Lyttelton Community House Trust
Thursday 23rd June
- Light It Up at the Lyttel Library 3.15pm to 5.15pm: Come along and make an LED and fabric brooch to wear in the street parade (ages 10 - 13). Small charge, limited places.
- Bright Light Workshop with Science Alive: Create, learn & discover whilst building your own electronic circuit and lantern. Lyttelton Rec. Centre (Gym) 5.10 - 6pm, 6.10 - 7pm
- Talking Heads 5pm, LyttelPungaPictureClub: Local poets / spoken word, and the film featuring the live epic Talking Heads concert Stop Making Sense (1984)
- Stories After Dark 6.30pm - 7.30pm, Lyttel Library: Join us for storytelling, songs and rhymes followed by crafts and hot chocolate.
- A Night with the Unicorn 7pm, Lyttelton Arts Factory: Spontaneous stories created using inspiration from the audience.
- Devilish Mary & the Holy Rollers 9pm, Civil & Naval
Friday 24th June
- Street Party, music on London St stage from 5.30pm, on Albion Square stage from 6.30pm. Parade from St Saviour's at Holy Trinity to Albion Square, starts 6pm.
Saturday 25th June
- Acro Circus Workshop with the Twisty Twinz, Lyttelton Arts Factory: Adults 10am -12, Children 2-3pm
- Inaugural Monster Hunt & Spooky Disco: Dress-up and hunt for ghouls & monsters at 5.30pm, 5.50pm, or 6.10pm, (ages 7 & over). Bring a torch. Spooky Disco 6 - 7.30pm, gold coin, meet at Lyttelton Arts Factory.
- Al Park Band at Rough Diamond, 8pm, Diamond Harbour
- Masquerade Ball 8pm, Lyttelton Club
Sunday 26th June
- Dancing in the Dark 7pm - 8pm, Union Chapel
The following resources are helpful for Lyttelton visitors and locals:
- Transport options for the Festival
- Metroinfo bus timetables. Lyttelton can be reached on a number 28 and a number 535 bus.
- Information on Lyttelton Library.
- Find out more about the museums of Banks Peninsula.
- CINCH listings for Lyttelton — Lyttelton organisations listed in our Community information directory.
- See images of early Lyttelton in our heritage photo collection.
- Read books about Lyttelton.
- Find out about the Lyttelton Port Company.