Imagine Rotorua's Government Gardens lit up by hundreds of lanterns hanging from every nook and cranny.

Sound magical? That's what Fire and Ice Festival organiser Kylie Lang thinks - and now she needs the public's help to make it a reality.

Rotorua people are being encouraged to head along to a series of lantern-making workshops over the coming weeks to make the lanterns which will be strung up around the gardens as part of the Luminite event on July 26.

The workshops, which cost $2, are open to adults and children and run for up to two hours.


Ms Lang said spaces were limited at the workshops which are run by local artists Jill Walker and Ally Rogers. The pair will give those taking part a brief run-down on the fundamentals of lantern making and then people will be left to create lanterns of their choice.

Some of the workshops are already fully booked but there are still spaces available on others, including the first one on Sunday between 10am and midday. Ms Lang said the workshops would be great for people of all ages, citing a 3-year-old taking part as well as grandparents taking children during the school holidays.

She said they hoped to have about 400 lanterns made as part of the workshops, and with all the little cans and other mini lanterns made from jars and tin cans, she believes the number would creep into the thousands.

"We want to have some really big ones as well."

Those will be created at three "complex lantern workshops" running over the next three Sundays. All the lanterns made at the workshops would be named and displayed on the night of the Luminite event. People will be able to pick up their lanterns the next day to take home. Ms Lang came up with the idea after seeing a video of a bike trail lit by lanterns. "I thought 'wow, how amazing would that be?' and it just grew from there."

Anyone interested can call Ms Lang on (07) 351 8685 or (027) 249 8020. There's also more information on the Fire and Ice - Rotorua's Winter Festival Facebook page which includes a full list of workshop times.