Theres so much Room for Activities
There’s so much room for activities
“There’s so much room for activities” during the festival and we all know I could write a novel about all the shenanigans and goings-on which I’d most probably call “The Hawkeye Scoop: The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival”. But don’t worry I’m not going to, I’m going to keep it “kinda brief” and over the next few days write “bits and pieces” of what could be a novel if we did in fact piece it all together highlighting some of my fave moments….
So, now that’s clear and we are on the same page of “The Hawkeye Scoop”, for those who have just joined us that would be page 3 as article 1 “It’s Business Time” is located on page 1 and article 2 “Hawkeye has Landed” is on page 2, which makes this article 3 “There’s so much room for activities” on page 3….so…ah… anyway….moving right along here they are, my highlights thus far…
Queenstown is Buzzing
Queenstown is a great destination to live or holiday, and I absolutely love coming down here. I actually call Queenstown my second home and have so many great buddies living here. During the festival, the town really comes to life with holidaymakers and locals getting right in amongst all the action, creating an awesome atmosphere. One element I love about Queenstown is that the locals here are so welcoming, genuine, outgoing yet so carefree and they truly support the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival. The locals really “make” the festival. They get into all the competitions, embrace all the events - especially ones where dressing up is required, showcase their amazing talents on stage – which they remain so humble about, work hard, but still out-party everyone. This is what the festival is all about – people from all walks of life, from all corners of the world coming together with the locals to celebrate Queenstown culture and community and together have the time of their lives.
The mountains are tracked out and it’s even snowed in the streets. Perfect timing to kick off the festival.
I cannot say enough how awesome my accommodation is. The beds are so comfortable and massive, rooms so warm, and environment so relaxing one does not want to move in the mornings. Getting out of bed at The Dairy is hard work and not a moment I enjoy, but alas the thought of scrumptious cooked breakfast seems to drag me out of bed every morning. Late afternoon the spa is the best place to watch the sunset over the snow-kissed mountains.
The American Express Opening Party
Showcasing “The Best of the Basin”, a line up of local Queenstown acts and managed by the outstanding Emma Pullar, the opening party indeed was a great success. Henry and I MC’d the event, throwing out our new word for the 2012 festival (last year Genki) this year ‘Rambunctious’ and kept everyone entertained both on stage and back stage with our pranks and bongo playing efforts. Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Vanessa van Uden officially declared the festival open and had the whole crowd (10,000 people +) singing Happy Birthday to festival director Simon Green (what an awesome Mayor!!) followed by a spectacular display of fireworks. Youngsters ‘The Fletchers’ proved to have a posse of solid fans rocking the mosh pit singing word for word every song they dished out. The Sequin Sisters dazzled, Mojo was awesome and LA Social electrified with their mashed up set featuring Flo Rida, David Guetta & Rihanna – I must say here Lindsay Woods is a true talent!! Watch out Hollywood.
Auckland Airport Family Fun Day
Margo and I hosted this event, which was entertaining for both kids and adults alike. Ronald McDonald and Hamburglar did their magic show, there was face painting, spot prizes and the highlight; uber-talented Craig Smith with ‘The Winky Wonky Donkey’. Now, I’ve travelled all around NZ and visited many schools so I was well in the know about the Winky Wonky Donkey, who has one eye and three legs and is a bit cranky, and yes I know all the lyrics and sung along to the surprise of all the adults backstage. It’s such a fun story for kids to read and sing along to. Craig was fantastic at getting the kids involved, up on stage turning the pages of the books, dancing, singing and having a good laugh even in the moments of rain. If you’re looking for a cool birthday present – look no further “The Winky Wonky Donkey” is where it’s at for children these days.
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift World Premiere
After a fun filled day, a Thai massage, Japanese cuisine and mulled wine, my buddy Miriama Smith and I walked the blue carpet at the World Premiere of Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. Being a huge fan of all animated movies, I was really looking forward to this event and seeing where the next adventure would take Sid the Sloth, Manny, Ally and Diego. More importantly I was keen to see Scrat and what he was up to with his acorn. The movie was cool, I’m not going to ruin the story for you, although I’d love to tell you exactly what happened, all I’ll say is Sid’s nanny is hilarious, there’s plenty of new characters and the moment when Scrat ruins the whole of, I’ll call it “Scratopia”, is a goodie.
Flight of The Conchords
They “took off”, not actually into the sky though (they’re not an actual “concord” plane) but they did indeed take flight and captivate the audience from the moment they graced the stage. Even the transitions between songs, as they referred to them - the “Lulls” - were entertaining. In fact anything Jemaine or Bret did on stage was pure GOLD. Even their addition to the show, Nigel from the NZ Sympathy Orchestra, was a hit in more ways than one. Nigel performed two solos during the night and a very awkward, yet embracing, on stage costume change from professional orchestral attire (which incorporated “tear-away” pants) into a rocker one piece suit.
We were in hysterics the whole time. You could hear people repeating jokes out loud to friends, singing along with them, slapping their legs (and their friend’s legs too) in outbursts of laughter all the while yelling for more… Our good friend “Scoop” was scooping the loop!
Who would have thought they’d ever be singing the lyrics “Think about the epileptic dogs”? Well, it happened en-masse in the Queenstown Events Centre last night. The boys had the entire audience singing in unison then in two-parts with the men leading out and the woman following with the highest operatic voice they could possibly put on. The sound produced was pure bliss (cough, cough) especially with the incorporation of laughs and comical sounds produced by FOTC. Well done Queenstown.
I left with more new material to quote away throughout the week and good tunes to sing my heart out to.
So, that’s all for now…standby for more installments of “The Hawkeye Scoop” coming to a store near you very soon, well not really a store, more like coming to you live from Queenstown, but not really live in the exact moment, more like once the action has taken place….Ok then…see you next time….