Darth Vader will bring the force to Waipā later this month, with the district set to host six hot air balloons at an event in Cambridge's Victoria Square.

Waipā District Council is hosting the event on Friday, March 22 from 5pm-8pm as part of the Balloons over Waikato Festival.

Cambridge and Thames are the only two Waikato towns being visited as part of the Balloons over Waikato Festival this year.

This year Waipā will be the lucky recipient of the special shape Darth Vader, returning for the first time since 2008.


Four regular balloons and a walk-through experience will also be on show.

In addition to the hot air balloons there will be a live music from 3 Brothers Band, bouncy obstacle courses and face painters, all free of charge.

Food and drink will also be available to purchase on site.

A rare opportunity to see a hot air balloon from the inside will require a gold coin donation with funds going to Balloons over Waikato charity of choice KidsCan with the help of Sunrise Rotary.

The balloons are likely to start inflating at around 6pm.

Council is encouraging the public to make travel plans early, including parking, walking or cycling to Victoria Square.

Council is providing a free bus service from Te Awamutu to Cambridge. The bus will depart the Te Awamutu i-Site at 5pm and return from the Cambridge i-Site at 8.15pm.

Bus seats are limited and anyone interested must register here.