The Hawke's Bay Toyota Winter Deco Weekend which is set to kick off on July 15 is shaping to be the most popular yet with ticket sales soaring and several events close to selling out.

Art Deco Trust general manager Sally Jackson said with a month to go ticket sales were up 27 per cent over the same time last year.

"It is growing year by year."

The very first mid-winter deco weekend took place in 2003.


"It's come a long way since then."

Mrs Jackson said the demand for tickets had seen at least two events expanded to cater for extra numbers with a large number of the tickets being sold going to people from out of town.

That was music to the ears of Hawke's Bay Toyota chief executive Angus Helmore as the company steps in for the second year of what he said would be an ongoing commitment as a major sponsor for the event.

"It is great to be involved with it because it is clearly bringing people into the region at a quieter time of the year so it's great to hear the sales are going well," he said.

Mr Helmore said the weekend was good timing for the company which staged its annual top branch and top performing staff awards in July.

So as part of the awards celebrations the expected 50-60 staff from across the Bay, Taupo and Gisborne will enjoy a deco evening at the Royal Flush Casino Night to be held at the Art Deco Masonic Hotel on the Saturday night.

"It all works in well and yes, we will be dressed in deco accordingly."

Mrs Jackson said the casino night and the Red Hot Martini Club, a new event, were among the big attractions this year, as were the vintage railcar rides and the Sunday roast railcar lunch.

Mr Helmore said the link between Toyota and the Art Deco events had a uniqueness as Napier and the city where Toyota was founded in 1936 had both been devastated by earthquakes.

Napier in 1931 and Yamaguchi by the Great Kanto earthquake on 1923.

"There is a link there and we are pleased to be part of this great annual event."

The Hawke's Bay Toyota Winter Deco Weekend features 18 events between July 15 and 17 and had begun an annual staple for a growing number of out-of-town and international lovers of deco, Mrs Jackson said.