Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Kai hits the spot for festival faithful

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Seafood lovers got their fix at the ninth annual Maketu Kaimoana Festival on Saturday.

Rain threatened the day of fun, food and music and impacted on the size of the crowd attending the event but organiser and Maketu Rotary President David Campbell said he was still happy with the turnout.

"It's a great turnout considering the weather.

"It was raining steadily in the morning, as we set up.

"The turnout is light compared to other years, maybe half or less. Other years every available space was filled with people.

"The weather has been the biggest challenge this year," Mr Campbell said.

Maketu School student Vaiata Maile, 9, enjoys a Moana Melon from the Maketu School stall at the Kaimoana Festival at Maketu on Saturday. Photo / Andrew Warner
Maketu School student Vaiata Maile, 9, enjoys a Moana Melon from the Maketu School stall at the Kaimoana Festival at Maketu on Saturday. Photo / Andrew Warner

But by the time the festival got under way the rain had more or less passed over.

"We had new entertainment this year, mixed it up with vendors with fresh ones and old favourites," Mr Campbell said.

The family-friendly and community-focused event had a retro band, handcrafted local art and as usual, a delicious array of kai.

The Maketu School stall is a permanent feature of the Kaimoana Festival, offering its unique taste sensation.

The ingredients for a Moana Melon are simple but the result is a big drawcard for festival goers.

Selling the halved watermelons filled with scoops of vanilla icecream and topped with a chocolate fish helps the school with a roll of only 63 students raise money.

"It's something everyone needs on a hot day," acting principal Regan Williams said.

"We had a lady come up who said it was the best thing she had tasted all day."

Maketu School teachers and students man the stall, which has been at the festival since its inception.

"It's worth coming back every year, it's a way to support the community and it's something local," Mr Williams said.

He said Maketu Rotary was always supportive of the school, donating dictionaries every year.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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