Kerikeri revellers undaunted by rain

By Peter de Graaf

It didn't just rain, it poured.

But the torrential rain that hit Kerikeri's annual half-marathon street party on Saturday didn't keep everyone away, at least 1000 revellers braving the conditions for an evening of food, wine and music.

Later in the evening the rain eased to a mere drizzle, allowing partygoers to emerge from under umbrellas and awnings to dance on a road cleared of cars.

Twenty-five restaurants and caterers dished up everything from Fijian curry to whitebait fritters while MasterChef NZ finalist Ana Schwarz put on a series of cooking demonstrations and a fire-breathing act warmed up sodden partygoers.

Three bands pumped out jazz and rock while kids jumped in puddles and ran squealing under gushing downpipes.

The street party was first held four years ago in a bid to keep the more than 2000 out-of-town half-marathon competitors in Kerikeri for an extra night. Most arrive on Friday night, then go home after prizegiving on Saturday afternoon.

The street party was an instant success and last year drew an estimated 4000 people.

It is organised by the Kerikeri Events Committee and Blah Blah Marketing's Anika Whapshott, who was "absolutely amazed" so many people had turned out in such terrible weather. She put the turnout at close to 1500 and said she was grateful to the people of Kerikeri for supporting the event despite the rain.

More pics from the party page 12.

- Northern Advocate

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