About 120 people turned out to celebrate the launch of the 2016 Bay of Plenty Garden and Arts Festival.

The launch was held at the Tauranga Art Gallery last night ahead of the festival which runs between November 17-20.

Chairwoman of the festival's trust Nikki Burley said the launch was a celebration and a thank you to all those people who had shown their support.

"It's our way of telling them that it's on countdown and giving them the update on what the new festival is going to look like and how the event will shape up," she said.


This year the festival will switch from a seven-day event - which had different areas of the trail open on specific days - to a four-day festival, with all gardens open for the duration of the event.

Early bird tickets had already opened and were selling well, Mrs Burley said.

Festival business manager Julie Eynon said the new format would give people the freedom to see what they wanted to at the time which best suited them.

"You can do the festival your way," she said.

Key events during the festival included the Indulge Long Lunch, featuring comedian Michele A'Court, and the Sisters fashion show featuring the latest fashion trends for summer 16/17 and guest speaker Kathryn Wilson.

There would also be a speaker and workshop series featuring the likes of Fiona Eadie, head gardener at Larnach Castle in Dunedin, and Unna Burch from The Forest Cantina giving a cooking demonstration and presentation on her journey to self-taught home cook, blogger, magazine food columnist and published cookbook author.