This summer the Chronicle is bringing you another look at some of the best content of 2019. This story originally ran on June 20, 2019
New Zealand's largest winter party returns to Ohakune this weekend.
About 8000 festival goes will take over the Ohakune Junction on Saturday for the sold-out R18 dress-up festival.
Acts include Chase and Status, DJ Set and Rage, Martic and Futurebound and New Zealand artists Montel2099 and Mitch James.
Audiology Touring's Mitch Lowe said everything had run a lot more smoothly this year due to the large amount of groundwork that was put in last year.
"We built trust within the community last year so it was a lot more enjoyable this year putting everything together," he said.
The event was cancelled in 2017 for the first time since it began in 1995.
Lowe and his team revived the festival in 2018 with the support from Ohakune Events Charitable Trust.
Lowe said they learned a lot and this year focused on tweaking aspects such as creating more entrances and having faster bar services so people would not have to wait in line long.
"This year we wanted to deliver a premium package so we decided to downsize a little to 8000 people instead of 9000 to create more space," Lowe said.
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The screamer ride is also making a comeback alongside arcade games, food and drinks.
"We're trying to make it about more than just music."
Ruapehu mayor Don Cameron said Mardi Gras was hugely important for Ohakune being economically the biggest event in the region.
In previous years, issues of binge drinking and negative behaviour began to arise and the community questioned the value of the event.
Cameron said due to the introduction of a new, more professional promoter, a cap on tickets sales and stronger environmental rules, the festival had been able to return.
"Council has worked closely with the promoter and other agencies such as the Police to ensure that people have a fun weekend in Ruapehu without negative impacts on the local community," he said.
Lowe said he was grateful for the support from the community.
Three warm-up parties will be held at Hot Lava, Turoa Lodge and Projection Room on Friday night.
On June 23 the festival will also be making a debut in Queenstown with a boutique version hosting 3000 people up Coronet Peak.
"To make up for a slightly smaller festival in Ohakune we wanted to host a more exclusive party with the launch in Queenstown which allows us to still generate revenue but also to share these acts with others in the country," Lowe said.