A winter carnival made up of almost 30 events is set to entertain Tauranga residents and visitors alike during the upcoming school holidays.

Events will be held around the central business district from July 15 to 23.

Among the events is Tauranga City Council's Winter Nights Winter Lights, a celebration featuring lights, lasers, fire and food on the Tauranga waterfront on July 16 and 17.

Fire shows by Highly Flammable and a laser show by Flying Pictures will be held throughout the night with food stalls from the Little Big Markets.


Tauranga City Council communications adviser Viktoria Ermes said the event aimed to showcase Tauranga as a vibrant city in the winter months.

"The idea was to add a light-based event to the already existing and fabulous IlluminART - to create a winter light weekend in Tauranga, with both events providing a range of activities across the city, as well as both being part of the Matariki celebrations."

Downtown Tauranga events co-ordinator Rose Webb said the winter carnival was to "bring excitement" to the city centre and draw people in during typically quieter months.

"Just because it's winter doesn't mean nothing is happening. There's still a lot of things happening," she said.

"We just want to get people out and about and give them something to do."

She was looking forward to bringing back the popular Pop-up Reading Room, where parents and children could have stories read to them by high-profile locals including firefighters, police, ambulance officers, Harold the Life Education giraffe and a puppet theatre.

Another highlight would be the filming and screening of a local movie, she said.

On July 16 and 17, BOP Film would be filming a family-friendly Quentin Tarantino-style movie around downtown Tauranga called Just Three Girls.

The movie would premier before the Open Air Movie Night in Wharf St on July 23.

The film would be part of the entertainment in the lead-up to the screening of the feature film Rio.

Other events include a Greek summer party, acrobatic workshop, performances by former New Zealand's Got Talent finalist Fletcher Oxford, and Shakespeare and Dinner in the City.

Winter Nights Winter Lights:

* When: July 16 and 17

* Fire shows by Highly Flammable at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm

* Laser shows by Flying Pictures at 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm, 9.30pm

* Little Big Markets presents Winter Bites from 5pm to 10pm

- Go to downtowntauranga.co.nz for full events schedule