Market to pause for winter

By Amy Shanksamy shanks@hbtoday co nz

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VIBE: Hastings Night Market has been a regular Thursday event. PHOTO/FILE
VIBE: Hastings Night Market has been a regular Thursday event. PHOTO/FILE

Hastings Night Market will take a break over winter to ensure the event maintains a high standard.

For six months locals have enjoyed food, produce, crafts and live entertainment every Thursday evening, but that's set to change come May 1.

"We want to maintain that wow factor - it's better to pause it so it is as good as it has been - we don't want to dilute it," Hastings City Business Association Manager and Night Market organiser Susan McDade said.

So far it had exceeded expectations, transforming downtown Hastings into a vibrant, safe environment for families and giving them a chance to take advantage of late-night shopping.

"We have our regulars who come every week to shop, eat and dance the night away to the live music, and we also have new visitors each time, too - both locals and tourists alike.

"We have had many comments from visitors about how the market has a 'feel-good' vibe to it."

Every week organisers received new applications from producers who wanted to "test the waters" before setting up a bricks-and-mortar business in the city; while others stayed open to catch the market crowds, with mixed results.

"The ones who stayed open in a group have done very well, but those who were out on their own, while very supportive, have not done so well," Ms McDade said.

There were still four markets to go with highlights including an Easter event on April 17, featuring an egg hunt and a final circus-themed market on May 1, showcasing talented local performers.

A special Matariki-themed evening was planned for Thursday June 26, before the market returned for good on October 2, just in time for spring and daylight saving.

"We are looking at lighting displays, and fire poi for Matariki. It's going to be great."

The Night Market is held in Hastings CBD mall in Heretaunga St West on Thursdays. Stalls are set up by the clock tower and fountain from 5 to 9pm.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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