The annual Avocado and Food Festival is helping put Katikati on the map as the avocado capital of New Zealand, festival organisers say.
Event co-ordinator David Crispin said all the proceeds from the event held in the Uretara Domain on Saturday, which was managed by Paikeke Lions on behalf of Katikati Funfest Charitable Trust, would be donated to the Cancer Society for its new lodge in Hamilton.
The festival included avocado cooking demonstrations by local chef Peter Blakeway and 2011 New Zealand Master Chef winner Nadia Lim, a guacamole-making competition, avo-art, avocado and spoon races, and other fun.
A qualified dietitian, Ms Lim is the ambassador for New Zealand Avocado and only too willing to share her passion for the superfruit and educating Kiwis on unique ways to use it.
First-time festival attendee Katikati's Carmen Goodwin said the day was a "thoroughly enjoyable great day out" despite her rustic guacamole recipe not finding favour with the celebrity judges in the guacamole-making competition.
Ms Goodwin, 41, said: "I think the chef judges have really different tastes than me. I like mine to be tangy and have a bit of a bite, with lemon juice and chilli in it. Peter said he didn't like it and Nadia liked the winner's better because it contained fresh herbs."
Ms Goodwin, one of the five locals who entered the competition, said despite the thumbs down from the judges she and her friends liked her rustic guacamole.
"Each to their own. I wasn't too keen on Ms Lim's blueberry and avocado smoothie recipe either," she said.
Ms Goodwin said: "It was great to see so many locals coming out to support this event, including local companies and the Lions did a fabulous job.
"I frequently take home baking down to the local market in Katikati to help the Lions raise funds and helping give back to the community is really what this event is all about. Well done Lions. The New Zealand community spirit is alive and well," she said.