Has the America's Cup eaten an Auckland icecream festival?
The fourth annual "Ice Cream Sundae" event, scheduled for Silo Park today, was cancelled two weeks ago.
More than 20 food trucks and pop-ups, selling icecreams, freak shakes, sundaes and gelatos, had been confirmed for the area currently under the control of America's Cup Events and Challenger of Record.
Some listings websites were still promoting the event last week. Organiser Fresh Concept gave no reason for the late cancellation.
"My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined," one fan posted on Facebook. "2021 really is just a continuation of 2020," complained another.
In a written statement, America's Cup Events (ACE) said there had been discussions around a "non-exclusive and reduced capacity" version of the event which would have operated alongside a buskers festival and big-screen broadcasts of Prada Cup racing.
"We had hoped the Ice Cream Sundae Festival, albeit on a smaller scale, could be part of the wider Auckland Anniversary weekend America's Cup activations in Silo Park . . . the timing [of the cancellation] clearly is not ideal for either party, but we respect their decision not to go ahead this year."
The Herald understands ACE has organised for about 10 independent icecream, gelato and sweet food vendors to set up at the America's Cup Village this weekend.
One of those vendors is Ice Cream Social's Heidi Tukuafu. She said the Ice Cream Sundae festival had become a "massive" event requiring a large amount of space and she had wondered how it would physically fit alongside America's Cup activities. Last year, an estimated 12,000-15,000 people attended the festival.
Tukuafu said she was not concerned about a hiatus year, given the presence of the Cup challenge.
"We want this world-class event in our city and we've just got to give up a little bit of territory for it."
The Silo Park area is usually managed by council organisation Panuku Development Auckland. ACE's licence (granted by Auckland Council) allows it to occupy and manage all activities in the area for the duration of the America's Cup.