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Nelson's Te Ramaroa light festival 9-13 July

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Nelson’s favourite winter festival is back on 9-13 July 2021, this time with walking lampshades and green spaghetti…

Te Ramaroa (formerly Light Nelson) is back with a new name, new footprint and new ways to brighten up the darkest winter nights.

The name Te Ramaroa reflects the concept of a beacon that honours the past, celebrates the present, and holds a light to a bright and positive future.

In 2021 Te Ramaroa will expand over a wider footprint with a trail of carefully selected installations placed around NMIT, Nelson CBD, Cathedral Hill and various laneways, as well as a major work in Queens Gardens. The Te Ramaroa team is excited about this fresh direction for the light festival, with the new name and extended precincts creating more opportunities for transforming our city.

Te Ramaroa 2021 will feature more than 30 installations as well as designated precincts for food and live music. There will also be roving entertainment, including some new (lampshade-y) characters created especially for the event.

One of the highlight works for Te Ramaroa 2021 is the playful and interactive UV Spaghetti, by Angus Muir Design. Constructed from three kilometres of UV reactive rope, UV Spaghetti looks like hundreds of luminous green ‘spaghetti’ strands, encouraging people to literally walk into the light.

Chairman of the trust Bronwyn Monopoli said, ‘We’re very excited to be working towards Te Ramaroa 2021. We have a great line-up of local and national artists creating some astonishing installations that will transform our city into a winter wonderland of colour and light.’

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said, ‘Te Ramaroa is a fantastic event for Nelson, showcasing the amazing creative talent we have in our community. It’s a wonderful attraction for both locals and visitors alike and I’m pleased to see it has returned, bigger and better than ever, after its COVID-19 postponement last year. There’s something about the glow of the light installations that lends a magical air to the city centre, and it’s well worth rugging up and taking in the festival on one of our beautiful, crisp winter evenings.’

Leighton Evans, Chief Executive of Rātā Foundation, is enthusiastic about supporting this event through its funding. ‘Te Ramaroa provides an awesome opportunity for a greater sense of connection and participation for the Nelson community, as people come together to experience the wonders of the light show. As an event it resonates with Rātā’s funding priorities - particularly for people to feel connected to, supported by and involved in their community.’

Te Ramaroa is one of the highlights of Nelson’s events calendar. Since the event’s inception in 2013, the event has seen phenomenal growth in attendance and participation, with more than 40,000 people attending in 2018. At its core, Te Ramaroa is a community event, with the majority of installations and performances being created and generated by people from the local region. The programme is then augmented with a selection of works from artists around the country.

To find out more about Te Ramaroa 2021, visit where you can join the mailing list for regular updates, or check Te Ramaroa on Facebook and Instagram.

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