Winter Deco Weekend got off to a near flying start on Friday night, with winds receding as the first of the events began in a weekend which has attracted several hundred people to Napier.

It is the 13th time a winter celebration has been held since its inception in 2003, as the partner to the major Art Deco Weekend which draws thousands of people to Napier from throughout the world each February. The soiree opened with a welcome at the Art Deco Masonic Hotel, where several of the events take place.

Earlier this week, Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson said about 1100 tickets to events had been sold, indicating it could be the most successful of the winter celebrations.

Some were believed to be regular Art Deco Weekend visitors, with some coming from overseas, who had included this weekend's celebrations in their itineraries.

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The programme, which on Friday night included a "Red Hot Martini" club night at the County Hotel and "Speakeasy Burlesque" at The Cabana on Shakespeare Rd, is a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities - the outdoor attractions focusing on transport.

There were vintage car rides in Napier yesteday, a free "Auto Ramble" tomorrow and on both days a vintage RM31 railcar, which is based in Pahiatua, will make several excursions, including a rare passenger venture into the area of West Quay and Napier Port.

Ms Jackson says the trust is fortunate to be able to showcase the city in both summer and winter, with Napier residents accustomed to seeing Art Deco era attire on the streets almost every week of the year.