Things to do  |  1 Jul 2020

Christchurch is getting a mid-winter injection of light and colour as the city hosts a new outdoor lighting festival, CHCH is LIT.

Featuring 20 lighting installations, CHCH is LIT has been put together by the Christchurch City Council’s Events and Enliven Places teams to help fill the gap created by the postponement of this year’s Botanic D’Lights Tirama.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t proceed with Botanic D’Lights Tirama this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we still wanted to bring some of the magic and wonderment of that event to the city this winter, Christchurch City Council Events and Arts Manager Lucy Blackmore says.

“CHCH is LIT is a fun, free event that will see key locations around the city illuminated by temporary lighting installations. Essentially, we’ve created a citywide lighting trail that people can explore at their leisure between 6pm and 11pm every night through until 29 July.

New Brighton Pier is among the city landmarks that will be colourfully lit up during CHCH is LIT. New Brighton will also be the site of an illuminated sand sculpture that is being created next to the newly opened hot pools complex He Puna Taimoana as part of KidsFest.

“He Puna Taimoana is supporting the event by staying open for extra sessions on Friday 10 July and Friday 24 July so that people can enjoy a relaxing soak while enjoying the pier’s interactive lighting display and the lit-up sandcastle.

“We‘re really excited that residents can enjoy this special mid-winter experience by the sea, Ms Blackmore says.

The lights on the pier can be seen from the hot pools from 6pm.

Other not-to-be missed lighting installations include The Flower Box in the SALT District, the Happy Tree in Friendship Park (by the Riverside Market), and the giant-sized Woman with Wings in the East Frame.

“Some of the talented students from the ARA School of Art and Design have worked together with a local lighting designer on a very special lighting installation that hangs just above the Avon River by The Terraces. It looks fantastic and is one of many lighting installations adding to the vibrancy of our city centre this month, Ms Blackmore says.

“I really encourage everyone to take some time out this month to go and explore the city after dark – you might be surprised by what you find, she says.

Some installations may be delayed because of the wet weather but everything is expected to be operating by this weekend.

See a map of where the lighting installations are located.