Russell Blackstock

Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Food fight mars Queenstown Winter Festival

Jo Holley. Photo / Supplied
Jo Holley. Photo / Supplied

Hosts of a long-running Queenstown Winter Festival event, attended by local business professionals, are considering its future after it descended into a booze-fuelled food fight.

A themed Murder Mystery night at Queenstown's Skyline Restaurant turned sour for some of the 175 participants - dressed as Olympic athletes from the 1970s - when a cream puff was lobbed into the crowd and a food-fight erupted between two tables.

Skyline bosses were furious when left with a cake-sodden floor and a $1000-plus bill for cleaning the carpet.

Auckland-based television presenter and model Jo Holley, former girlfriend of All Black Adam Thomson, was hired to play a murder victim called Edwina Ostrich at the event, which involved people solving a mock crime.

Holley had to duck for cover when someone threw a cake at her during her performance, said host Steve Wilde, a Queenstown journalist.

But Holley played the incident down. "I was gone before it all really kicked off but it is Queenstown at Winter Festival so people having a few drinks and partying is expected," she told the Herald on Sunday.

Skyline general manager Lyndon Thomas said the company was considering cancelling next year's $75-a-head event, which is popular with local accountants, lawyers, real estate agents and hospitality workers.

Queenstown Festival organiser Simon Green said the future of the event was now in doubt.

"There was a lot of childish stuff going on from a small minority of locals," said Green. "But this kind of behaviour can't be condoned and we will back Skyline's decision either way about whether they will hold it again or not."

- Herald on Sunday

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