Cromwell is being lit up.

The Aotea Daikin Light Up Winter returns aweek on Saturday to brighten people’s spirits — and winter’s night sky.

The annual midwinter celebration started in 2017 as a way to gather people together during the colder months.

Seven years on it has become a staple in the Cromwell calendar, attracting thousands of people from throughout Central Otago and further afield.

This year the event will be back at the Cromwell Mall after being held at the Big Fruit Reserve last year.

It has also been moved to a later date than usual as a way to avoid the coldest of the winter weather.

The free, family-focused event will feature entertainment by local artists and street performers, with free children’s workshops available.

The popular Light Up Your Hat parade and competition will also feature street food from the night market will keep bellies full.

At 7.30pm the highlight and grand finale will be a breathtaking mass lantern release in which thousands of lanterns will light up the sky.

The lanterns, which can be booked on the Cromwell Promotions website before the event, are flame-retardant, completely biodegradable and free from wires that could harm wildlife.

Light Up Winter will run from 4pm-8pm on Saturday, August 5.

Organisers are seeking volunteers to assist with the event. If you are interested contact [email protected]