Carnival FAQ's

When is this year’s event?
Friday, 21 June & Saturday, 22 June at First Church and Moray Place in Dunedin city.

What are the main changes this year?
The event plan this year is the same as last year but will feature a new theme and lots of new lanterns, performances and projections. We made some significant changes to our event in 2022. We went from one night to two. We shifted from the Octagon to the First Church area on Moray Place. The focus is on creating a beautiful and magical environment that audiences can enjoy at their leisure.

What’s happening when, what’s the schedule?
A full programme will be released prior to the event, with sneak peeks and teases via our social media channels. The event will start at 6pm and run through to 9pm Friday and Saturday nights. There will be entertainment throughout the entire evening, so don’t fret about missing out.

Is there an admission fee?
There is an entry charge of $10 adult and $5 child + booking fee per person (under three years are free). There is also a family ticket for $25 (2 adults, 2 children). This is required to cover event expenses, to pay artists and performers and to cover the cost of our lantern storage. See ticketing options on our ticketing page.

Is there a Pay-it-Forward option?
Yes, we are partnering with social service agencies to distribute free tickets to families who may need support to attend. More info and a link to the Pay-it-forward ticket is on our ticketing page.

Will the roads be closed?
Yes, there will be some road closures on the First Church section of Moray Place on both days of the event.

What if the weather is bad?
We will forge ahead in the case of drizzle. However, for extreme adverse weather conditions, we will postpone to the following weekend (June 28th and June 29th). Keep up to date with our social media, newsletter and website for updates.

When and where are the Lantern Making Workshops?
These are held on the four weekends leading up to the Carnival at the Meridian Mall. More information can be found on the workshops page of the website.

Where and when can I book into a workshop and how much does it cost?
Once the bookings are open, you can visit our workshops page to book. This will take you to an online booking form. There is a cost of $15 per lantern.

Is there a lantern procession this year?

There will be three smaller processions at scheduled times throughout the event. All those who made a lantern at the workshops are invited to participate in the processions and can register at the workshop they attend.

Do I get free entry to the Carnival if I am in the lantern procession?

Yes, if you made a lantern and are in one of the processions. Your lantern is your ticket. Only those who made lanterns get free entry (one person per lantern). If you are accompanying your child you will need to purchase a ticket. Tickets are available via our ticketing page, gate sales will be strictly limited so we recommend pre-purchase to guarantee your entry.

Who makes the giant lanterns and costumes at the main event?
The Carnival Art Team. This is a talented bunch of artists, sewers, prop makers and choreographers who spend months creating beautiful new artworks and costumes and performances. We also work with many artists, performers and cultural groups in the wider community.

What’s this year’s theme?
Our 2024 theme is “Creatures of the Deep” which will celebrate the wonderful world of water and the fascinating creatures that live above and below the surface. From soaring albatross to terrifying taniwha.

How can I get involved?
We love volunteers! In fact we couldn’t run the event without them. We need dozens of volunteers each year to help run the event. See our volunteer page for more information on the different roles and to sign up. Our Volunteer Coordinator can be contacted on

What is the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival all about?
It is a community celebration of the winter solstice where we recognise the shortest day and the longest night, and the point at which the days lengthen and the light and warmth returns. We work with talented artists, community and cultural groups to tell stories that are relevant to who we are and where we live. See our About page for more.

Who runs the event and who funds it?
The event is run by a registered charity called Dunedin Midwinter Celebrations. There is a board of trustees who provide governance in a voluntary capacity. The event is primarily funded by the Dunedin City Council with the generous support of a range of funders and businesses. Please see our funders and sponsors page for more information.