Dannevirke Community Board members are keen to reinstate the town's Spring Festival.

The issue of the Spring Festival was raised at last month's community board meeting when members agreed to continue to support co-ordinating arrangements for the event and to discuss the programme for this year's events.

At Tuesday's meeting of the board chairman Ross MacDonald, who has been heavily involved in the production of Beauty and the Beast, said he now had more time to spend on getting the festival moving.

The festival has been an annual event for many years but lapsed in 2017.


MacDonald said it was revived by the board last year and ran from September 1 to November 30, rather than just for the month of September as in the past.

"The Spring Festival was a bit low-key last year because we were feeling our way but we want to carry it on this year and we want to make it more vibrant," he said.

To get things moving MacDonald said he would get in touch with local groups that have been involved in the past so they can let the board know what they have planned and a calendar of events can be circulated around the district.

Traditionally among the organisations involved are the Dannevirke Art Society and Dannevirke Quilters which both stage exhibitions, Totara College which hosts a huge Garden and Craft market, Women's Institutes and Dannevirke Woodturners.

"Hopefully we can make it a bit more of a high-profile event this year," MacDonald said.

Dance teacher Amy MacDonald will again will kick off the festival by staging a Spring Showcase at which her students perform.

The event also marks the birthday of the late Joan Irvine who taught generations of Tararua dancers and was an internationally renowned teacher and examiner for the Royal Academy of Dancing.

The community board would also like to see the return of the market day held in October before Labour Day reinstated. This has previously been organised by the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce but last year it pulled the pin on the event, citing the cost and the atrocious weather the event has experienced in past years.


Board member Terry Hynes, who is also a Chamber of Commerce member, told the community board meeting that he had inquired as to whether the chamber was interested in running the market day this year but the feedback was that the chamber wasn't keen on being involved, although some committee members had expressed an interest.

Board member Pat Walshe asked if the community board could just go ahead and say the market day was to be held.

But Tararua District Council governance manager Richard Taylor said there was much more involved than that.

"Firstly you need someone to convene the market day and secondly you have to get all the players on board. Last time some of the retailers were involved and some weren't."

Hynes said the market day involved a lot of work.

"Before the market day you have to liaise with the out-of-town vendors then on the day you have to make sure they are all in the space they have been allocated."


MacDonald said the timing of the market day, which coincided with Hawke's Bay Anniversary Day, meant it attracted a lot of out-of-town shoppers.

Taylor said if anybody wanted to take on the convening of a market day in Dannevirke the opportunity was there.