Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Festival welcomes stronger turnout

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The Welcome Bay Family Music Festival attracted crowds in its second year.

Only two hours into the event, held on Saturday at Tye Park in Welcome Bay, event organiser Antoon Moonen said it was exceeding expectations and all was going "splendidly well".

The event attracted about 2600 people last year and was expected to draw 3000 this year.

"The community had a taster of it last year and are really behind it this year," said Mr Moonen.

There were more vendors, more toilets and new attractions this year with more than 40 musicians in bands and soloists performing, and at least 30 food, craft and activity stalls scattered around the park, he said.

There was no shortage of activities for kids, including pony and donkey rides, bouncy castles, a waterslide and colourful stilt-walker entertainers tottering around the park.

If we had known what we were getting ourselves into last year then we might not have been so brave and done it.
Anna Larsen

This year the Welcome Bay Community Centre had more time to arrange the event which went a long way, Mr Moonen said.

"We organised last year's festival in just 10 weeks but this time we had the whole year to organise."

Welcome Bay Community Centre manager Anna Larsen said it was really great to have an event like the festival in the area.

"Very little happens in this part of the city ... it's really nice to have the community feel they have something special for them.

"It's a really cool community and they deserve to have events like this brought to them instead of having to go to other parts of the city," she said.

"If we had known what we were getting ourselves into last year then we might not have been so brave and done it.

"But now, having done it before, we know we can do it."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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