Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Okere Falls Beerfest set to be popular

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Okere Falls Beerfest is a popular event for locals and out-of-towners. PHOTO/FILE
Okere Falls Beerfest is a popular event for locals and out-of-towners. PHOTO/FILE

A massive week of events is lined up for this year's Okere Falls Beerfest - and it will be starting off in full swing with a grand opening for the first time.

Hundreds of people are expected to take part in activities, starting on Monday with a special night for local "hospo" workers who normally miss out on events, and running through until Sunday.

Okere Falls Store office administrator Kimi Chater said the festival normally started slowly, but this time they wanted to do a special night in honour of the hospitality workers who often missed out.

The night features former X-Factor contestants Brendon Thomas and The Vibes, with a bus put on from town to take people to the event and back into town for $10.

"It is the first time we have done a grand opening. Normally we go for seven days but it normally starts off slow and builds up."

She said they were hearing a lot of people were excited about the night - which is open to anyone - and they expected about 100 people.

Mrs Chater said the festival had established itself as a popular event over its nine years.

Saturday night was almost sold out with 400 people expected, and tickets were also selling fast to Friday night with about 100 left.

"People need to get in so they don't miss out."

She said the festival attracted a lot of out-of-towners.

"I think it is so popular because Andy and Sarah [Uhl, the owners] have managed to bring an authenticity.

"It's that genuine feel mixed with the Kiwi Okere Falls vibe. You just can't get that anywhere else."

For a full line-up of events - and details of which are free and which are ticketed - go to http://okerefallsstore.co.nz/beer-fest/.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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