Art Deco winter events filling up

By Roger Moroney

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WARM TOUCH: County Hotel reservations manager Fiona Booth (left) and Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson gave the "red hot martini" recipe the thumbs-up. PHOTO/ WARREN BUCKLAND
WARM TOUCH: County Hotel reservations manager Fiona Booth (left) and Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson gave the "red hot martini" recipe the thumbs-up. PHOTO/ WARREN BUCKLAND

Just a week into ticket sales for July's Toyota Winter Deco Weekend and numbers are up about 10 per cent over the same time last year.

"Sales have been really, really good," Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson said, adding the increase reflected what happened when the tickets for the Tremains Art Deco Festival in February first went on sale.

After a week of preferential bookings for Art Deco Trust members, tickets for the winter event went on sale to the general public last Saturday.

As well as selling tickets for the two dozen events, there had also been a growing demand for the recently released programme.

"On Monday alone we had 40 requests for it," Ms Jackson said, adding that there was strong overseas interest on what would be taking place between July 15 and 17.

"We have already had huge interest from out of town and there is a core of Art Deco enthusiasts from Australia who are coming back over - they love the winter event because they get to wear the furs and the capes and because it is on a smaller scale it is more intimate."

She said the Australia deco fans were "very devoted to it".

Ms Jackson was equally delighted that chief naming sponsors for the July event, Toyota, had once again stepped up.

Hawke's Bay Toyota chief executive officer Angus Helmore said the company was pleased to once again support the event, and said staff would be well involved with several events.

"It's important for Hawke's Bay that organisations like the Art Deco Trust put on events during the winter months," he said.

"The entire team is looking forward to getting involved in the event activities."

He said one would be the Royal Flush Casino Night where staff would be highlighting the event to clients as well as staff from outside the region.

It was one of the most popular events last year and that had led to a tweaking of numbers, Ms Jackson said.

She said the increased demand had led to two events being expanded to cope.

The Winter Deco Welcome set to be staged at the Gatsby Room on the evening of July 15 was originally planned for 60 people but had now been pushed out to 100. And the Royal Flush Casino Night had also been expanded.

One of the new events on the calendar, the Red Hot Martini Club Night to be staged at the historic County Hotel, had already seen about 80 per cent of the tickets sold.

A foretaste of what is to come, in the form of the preparation of a few vodka, brandy, martini and cranberry juice "red hot martinis", was rolled out on Wednesday at the County's Wine Street Restaurant and the conclusion was "delicious".

Another new event, the Speakeasy Burlesque, was also proving popular with about a third of the tickets already sold.

The 1938 vintage railcar will be returning for the fourth mid-winter visit and as well as shuttles between Napier and Hastings will host a "Hot Roast Railcar Lunch".

Ms Jackson said the emphasis of the winter event was on keeping the numbers as conservative as possible to create more intimate gatherings and she anticipated the "sold out" signs would start going up in the coming weeks.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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