A new family-friendly festival is being held amongst Nelson’s central city laneways at the end of the month.

The Four Lanes Festival promises a little late-winter sparkle of surprise and delight, hidden gems and family favourites.

Designed to celebrate the themes of culture, retail, hospitality and art in our Smart Little City, the initiative is Council-led along with Uniquely Nelson.

The four linked precincts of mainly free entertainment will include:  Kirby Lane (with a noodle market), Fiddle Lane (featuring the public’s art creations and projections on the walls); Old Bank Reserve laneway (a live performance space including circus acts and kapa haka); and Morrison Square (a Latin Quarter of dancing, live music and themed food).

Nelson City Council’s City Centre Development Programme Lead Alan Gray says most of the entertainment will be free to make it as inclusive as possible.

“We would like to really make this a regular event as part of Council’s aim to keep the central city vibrant in the colder months. We have timed this new event to complement Light Nelson on the social calendar.”

The event begins at 3 pm (after weekend sporting fixtures), but Alan Gray hopes people will stay in town to enjoy the full programme and have something to eat.

“The entertainment will change throughout the afternoon and evening so it’s not necessarily a single walk-through – there’ll be a lot to interact with. The hot air balloon, for example, tethered beside the Ferris wheel in Buxton Square carpark, will look quite magical after dark.”

Community Services Committee Chair Gaile Noonan says part of the thinking behind the concept was to have engaging activities happening in less traditional parts of the city.

“Trafalgar Street, by its nature of being our main street, does get the bulk of the action,” Gaile says. 

“Here, we’re wanting to give people an experiential sensation in the heart of Nelson city that’s a little bit different to existing events - shifts the energy around a little.  The Four Lanes Festival is going to do just that!”

As Simon Duffy of Uniquely Nelson points out, we already have the Nelson Arts Festival in October, which is a Nelson city event fully patronised by the whole community and is so well received.

“Nelson city’s second Classic Car Street Hop on 3 November will also bring 10,000 people into our city centre. So there are plenty of reasons to come out and have some fun,” Simon says.

Nelson City Council has listened to and worked with the community to bring this festival to life.

The Four Lanes Festival is being held in the central city on 31 August, 3-9pm. For more information check out www.nelsonadvantage.co.nz