Wind no bother for dapper Deco picnickers

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Enjoying the Gatsby Picnic Lunch are Kate Ferrett, from Brisbane, Iain Hambling, from London, and Ally Hannon, from Melbourne. Photo/Duncan Brown
Enjoying the Gatsby Picnic Lunch are Kate Ferrett, from Brisbane, Iain Hambling, from London, and Ally Hannon, from Melbourne. Photo/Duncan Brown

For some Gatsby Picnic early arrivals the wind served up a stronger mix than some of the drinks and snacks they may have had planned.

"A couple got blown away," Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson said of the pergola tents which struggled to stay in place.

"One got wrapped around a tree," one man said.

"They had trouble getting it folded up to fit back in the boot."

But, undeterred, the picnickers simply set themselves up as best they could, while some chose to move off the Marine Parade grassed area to the seafront grassed strip.

The later, as was evident by mid-afternoon, was the most popular spot as the trees beside the garden walkways afforded good shelter from the gusting westerlies - where some gusts were measured at Hawkes' Bay Airport at 56km/h.

The picnic was again a colourful and packed scene.

From small groups spread across blankets to large, ornately costumed groups beneath even more ornately decorated pergolas.

There were plastic cups (but not many, thankfully) to crystal glasses, silver goblets and champagne flutes.

Red roses adorned some tables, while lilies and potted plants decorated others.

One cheerful group had a sign "Drinks and Dollies" on their nifty nest while another group had a "Happy Birthday" sign showing.

It was spotted by a group of barbershop singers who duly rendered a spiffing version of the birthday song.

There were all ages spread along the waterfront garden stretch, which drew thousands of wandering and admiring onlookers.

There were those young enough to be in high-chairs and those mature enough to have an armchair seat for the occasion.

There were salads and scones, muffins and sandwiches. Cold chicken and quiche. There was everything.

One man enjoying the picnic for the first time was Drew Sloan, from Ayreshire in Scotland.

"It is very good - everything is magnificent," he said, adding that while his wife was away having a bit of a walk he was able to sneak a wee dram (or two) of fine Scottish whisky he'd taken along.

He was enjoying the day with his host Mike Castelle-Spence, from Taradale.

As the groups dined and enjoyed refreshments, they were entertained by a band of the Sound Shell stage, which played toe-tapping numbers from the deco era.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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