Some foot stomping festival fun

By Amber Callanan

Gourmet cuisine, fresh seafood, boutique wines and a continuous line-up of Northland musicians will be pulling the crowds at this year's Ocean and Orchard Festival in Kerikeri.

Visitors will be able to show their prowess at gastronomic pursuits such as stomping grapes, sucking lemons and slurping oysters.

The successful annual event is now in its third year. Last year the event drew a crowd of more than a 1000 to the Kerikeri Domain, and organisers Judy Hyland and Jan-Marie Thomas are hoping this year's festival will attract more out-of-towners.

Ms Hyland says the Ocean and Orchard Festival coincides with a other popular events over the weekend starting February 23, including concerts and theatre.

Visitors can sample a variety of food and wine offerings, with more than 30 stalls and food and drinks priced at around $5 per serve. Stallholders include local restaurants, seven vineyards, and artisan producers offering chutneys and other delicacies.

And if you've always wanted to try your hand - or feet - at stomping the grapes of a new season's harvest, now is your chance.

The children's favourite is amongst a bevy of family-friendly activities.

The festival also provides a supervised area for children to play in while parents enjoy themselves.

- Northern Advocate

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