Leap into the Light with Spring Festival

9 September 2009

Shake off the recession blues and the long winter by immersing your senses in the glorious spring flowers, colour and fragrance of Wellington's annual Spring Festival.

The two-week festival (19 September - 4 October) has plenty for everyone with almost 40 events and activities. It kicks off with the Otari-Wilton's Bush open day and plant sale on Saturday
19 September and features the legendary Tulip Sunday at the Botanic Garden, fittingly coinciding with the start of daylight saving on
27 September.

A new addition to the Spring Festival calendar this year gives a nod to the growing popularity of gardening by giving budding green thumbs the opportunity to attend a workshop on growing your own vegetables on Sunday 20 September (1.00 - 2.30pm).  

The Council's Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Celia Wade-Brown, says after a particularly long winter this year Wellingtonians will be more than ready to welcome in spring and tiptoe through the tulips.

"With thousands of tulips and other spring flowers blooming, it's a great seasonal celebration and chance for some family days out. Also this year's festival is a good opportunity for gardening newcomers and enthusiasts to learn more about growing your own food - a great way to save some money in these leaner times.

"Getting to the Botanic Gardens is easy and you can take a free uphill ride on the Cable Car between 12 noon and 2.00pm by presenting the coupon from the festival brochure. This city has fantastic parks, tracks and reserves and I encourage citizens and visitors of all ages to enjoy them."

This year's festival activities for children include tree climbing, craft and storytelling sessions, Push Play games and a cool critter trail. Adults get their turn too with a business house challenge, workshops, botanic art demonstrations and expert guided walks and tours.

Top arborists climb to dizzying heights in a spectacular regional tree climbing competition on Saturday 3 October and the festival wraps up with a culture connection picnic on Sunday 4 October. Bring a picnic and enjoy a visual feast of music and dance from cultures around the world.

Events are at the Botanic Garden and Otari-Wilton's Bush, many are free, though some have a small charge, and bookings are required in some cases. Full details are available in the Botanic Garden Events Calendar or in brochures available from libraries or by phoning (04) 499 4444.

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