$1M spin-off for Whangarei from Fritter Festival

By Hannah Norton

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POPULAR: Kora is headlining this year's Fritter Festival. PHOTO/FILE
POPULAR: Kora is headlining this year's Fritter Festival. PHOTO/FILE

This year's Fritter Festival is predicted to bring nearly a million dollars of economic benefits to Whangarei, with far more people expected to attend the March 29 event.

Last year's inaugural event attracted 3500 people, who are estimated to have contributed about $772,000 to the local economy, says Venues & Events Whangarei manager John Lynch.

"We're anticipating 4000 to 4500 people this year - we don't want any more than that as we don't want to affect their comfort - and we are hoping to bring close to a million dollars of economic benefits in Whangarei this year," he said.

"One of our objectives in the Whangarei Events Strategy was to create one or two iconic events in our district. Fritter Festival is definitely something we want to become an iconic event."

Estimates are based on feedback received from a survey of 5 per cent of last year's attendees. .

Last year's event "broke even" for Venues & Events Whangarei - a branch of Whangarei District Council - and this year the organisation is aiming to make a small profit that would be reinvested into the Whangarei community, Mr Lynch said.

The line up for the event was announced last week. "Headlining the festival will be Kora, one of New Zealand's most powerful live bands, joined by Ladi6, dDub, Kurfew and Juice on the Loose," Venues & Events marketing and events manager Rachel O'Gorman said. "MC for the festival will be Northland comedian and Kiwi Faves host Aaron Beard."

Food and wine vendors confirmed so far are Absolute Caterers, Bank Street Social Club, The Cafe Helena Bay Hill, Cafe Jerusalem, First Fruits Kerikeri, Flavours Catering Kerikeri, Killer Prawn, Nectar Cafe, Top Sail, The Coffee Van, The Apprentice Northtec, Karikari Estate, Longview, Marsden Estate, Sailfish Cove and Strugglers Ridge.

Tickets can be bought through www.eventfinda.co.nz and from Forum North Box Office.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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