Art Deco Festival a roaring success

By Victoria White

8 comments
Napier's Sound Shell was packed with Art Deco fans for Saturday's fashion show. Photo / Paul Taylor
Napier's Sound Shell was packed with Art Deco fans for Saturday's fashion show. Photo / Paul Taylor

A record-breaking number of participants, sold-out events and huge ticket sales show the Tremains Art Deco Festival is "getting bigger and brighter each year".

Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson said the five days of the festival had run smoothly, and she thought the estimated 40,000 participants had really enjoyed it.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said the festival "just gets bigger and brighter" every year.

"This is now a significant event on the international calendar, not just on the New Zealand calendar," he said.

"The beauty of the event is that it's right in the centre of the city - it celebrates the city and showcases it very well."

He and wife Shirley had been going "absolutely flat out" as they tried to get to as many events as they could.

It was too early to gauge the event's economic impact but, based on the increase in visitor numbers and ticket sales, Ms Jackson guessed the festival's contribution to the region's economy would be tenfold on previous years.

"There have been so many international visitors, it was almost like every third or fourth person was from overseas ... some said they had planned their holiday around the festival."

Ms Jackson said people really seemed to have enjoyed the festival's community-oriented events.

"Locals have been loving it ...there is that community feel where people can participate without spending a dollar."

To improve next year's festival, Ms Jackson said the trust would be making sure the community atmosphere, an "integral part of the festival", was maintained.

The visitor numbers were felt in the accommodation sector, with Napier Motel Association president and Deco City Motor Lodge owner Clinton Green saying accommodation in the area had been "all filled up".

He said some guests booked months in advance, while occasionally visitors would book their room for next year's festival as they left their accommodation.

Motorhome owners were also forward-thinking, with some parking up at the southern end of Marine Parade as early as Monday, with numbers growing to more than a hundred by the weekend.

With Saturday reaching a high of 29C, St John Ambulance Service Heretaunga territory manager Brendon Hutchinson said during the daytime St John took five people to hospital and treated about 12 others, all with heat-related issues. He said that was "no different" from usual Art Deco Saturdays in hot weather.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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