Queenstown Winter Festival 2017 dates announced

  • 27/07/2016
American Express Queenstown Winter Festival carnival (Supplied)
American Express Queenstown Winter Festival carnival (Supplied)

Queenstown's new four-day winter festival dates have been confirmed for June 2017.

The official celebration, which marks the beginning of Queenstown's winter season, will run from Thursday June 22 to Sunday June 25.

The dates are deliberately planned to be two weeks after the scheduled start to the ski season but before the Australian and New Zealand school holidays.

The revamped festival will still have community favourite events along with new and exciting events for 2017, festival director Lisa Buckingham says.

"We are looking forward to presenting this newly formatted festival to the community and visitors next year. We work very hard to ensure that the Queenstown Winter Festival is an event that locals and visitors alike can enjoy."

This year's events included the Dash for Cash, the Suitcase Race and the Bobsled Race, as well as the Treasure Traverse for children.

The first-ever winter festival started in 1975, when a group of locals thought the arrival of snow was a 'great excuse for a party'.

The festival now attracts 45,000 people and injects $57 million back into the local economy.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd says next year's festival will announce the start of the 2017 winter season with "renewed vibrancy".

"The new format will allow both visitors and locals to participate in and enjoy the entire festival experience."

Planning for the 2017 event is underway, with the focus now on working with sponsors and stakeholders to design the new shortened four-day programme.

Queenstown Winter Festival in for major changes

Video: Thrills and spills at the Queenstown Winter Festival

Video: Street parade for Queenstown Winter Festival