Changes are afoot for Light Up Winter.

The free community event, which attracts about 6000 people, is moving from the Cromwell Mall and expanding to a week-long celebration.

However, organisers say they are mindful the mall was the event’s original home so are staying close to their roots.

The event is moving across the road to the Big Fruit Reserve and car park.

Many of the event’s core activities are returning trucks, fire dancers, bands and the ever-popular lantern release in the works including a thieves alley-style night market, interactive light display from Otago Museum and corporate tents.

Throughout the week an outdoor ice-skating rink will be set up at the reserve, with a children’s disco and midweek curling planned.

Marquees will be in place to weatherproof the event and the ice-skating rink.

Cromwell & Districts Promotions Group community relationships manager Kelly Cruickshank-Giles said the combination of increasing numbers of visitors attending the event and the need to control entry and exit points under ever changing Covid-19 restrictions were behind the changes.

“The mall has so many access points and to meet Covid regulations we’ve had to move it where we can control the entry point,” she said.

“We are still going to have the main stage with local bands and all those staples that people have come to love about Light Up Winter.”

Light Up Winter’s original purpose was to the attract people to the Cromwell town centre so it was important to still support businesses in the mall, marketing and communications manager Marion Low said.

A “Shop & Win” promotion was planned in the lead up to the festival, she said.

Sponsorship opportunities were available for businesses wanting to be involved, including the naming sponsor and for the ice-skating rink.

Light Up Winter runs July 8-15 with the main event to be held on July 9.

The event is free, however there will be a charge for lanterns and ice-skating.