Green move for night food market

By Kiri Gillespie

1 comment
Gourmet Night Market organiser Kim Renshaw is looking forward to going "off the grid
' this weekend.
Gourmet Night Market organiser Kim Renshaw is looking forward to going "off the grid ' this weekend.

A popular summer event will be going "off the grid" in a nod to an international day marking environmental sustainability.

The Gourmet Food Markets will operate by candlelight and gas at Mount Maunganui's Coronation Park on Saturday to celebrate Earth Hour.

Organiser Kim Renshaw said she was excited.

"We are sort of taking the Gourmet Night Market, which already had an environmental focus, and pushing it to the limit."

Vendors would be cooking and serving food without electricity.

"We will give them ice bags and chilli bins to help keep things cold," Ms Renshaw said. "It's just about making a point that we can do it."

A solar-powered generator would help power the stage, which would feature artists from the Mauao Performing Arts Centre Summer Series and fire dancers and drumming.

Ms Renshaw had considered making the entertainment acoustic but more than a thousand people were expected so wanted to be able to amplify the sound.

The event would be the last of this summer for the Gourmet Night Market, which experienced such success when it started in December that it continued into January and extended into February.

"Going into it, we assumed it would be 50 per cent visitors, 50 per cent locals. It was actually more 80 to 90 per cent Bay of Plenty locals.

"I think the overwhelming thing is how much support there has been for a community-based event."

Ms Renshaw hoped the weekend's event would also be well received.

"Earth Hour is always the same day throughout the world. That's why we are having it on that day. For me personally, it symbolises the end of the summer Gourmet Night Markets which is cool."

Earth Hour is about stimulating on-going action and change for the environment.

People would be able to fill water bottles at the event at a Hydrohub for free drinking water, recycling stations would be in place and all food stalls would provide biodegradable cutlery.

Tauranga City Council was supporting the event, which runs from 5pm to 9pm.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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