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The Auckland Lantern Festival Has Been Cancelled (Again) Amid Weather Warnings Across the City

The city's biggest cultural event hasn't been held since 2019 — and now we'll be waiting another year.
By Sarah Templeton
January 31, 2023
By Sarah Templeton
January 31, 2023

Auckland's unprecedented rainfall and flash flooding has claimed another event: the city's beloved Lantern Festival, which was scheduled to take place across four days this week. The biggest cultural event on Tāmaki Makaurau's calendar, more than 100,000 visitors were expected at the festival — which was prepping for its first event since 2019.

But the severe weather and Auckland's current State of Emergency means the Lantern Festival has joined One Love, Laneway and a whole host of other events that have been cancelled after consultation with local authorities and community leaders.

The festival was due to take place at the Manukau Sports Bowl from Thursday, February 2 — Sunday, February 5, filling the area with more than 800 handmade lanterns, 40 food vendors and a lineup of local entertainers.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Head of Major Events Chris Simpson said in a statement that he knew Aucklanders will be disappointed by the loss.

"Special cultural occasions are the fabric of our region, and we are all gutted that we won't be able to celebrate this iconic festival for a fourth year in a row."

The decision was made to not only protect the thousands of visitors expected at the festival, but also the staff, stallholders, volunteers, performers and more.

The Auckland Lantern Festival was due to take place from Thursday, February 2 – Sunday, February 5 at the Manukau Sports Bowl, but has been cancelled amid heavy weather warnings across the region. To learn more about Auckland's current State of Emergency and to receive up-to-date advice from Civil Defence, head to the council's website.

Published on January 31, 2023 by Sarah Templeton
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