Indie Deco, DIY Deco, Prohibition Weekend - whatever you want to call it, the unofficial party in Napier is still on for masses of festival fans.
The Art Deco Festival - and its near 300 events - will stay officially cancelled, but the trust that runs it is now throwing its support behind a raft of unofficial events that can go ahead under alert level 1 rules.
Art Deco Trust chairwoman Barbara Arnott said while the fleet of 1930s vintage cars will remain stationary this year, those in the city should enjoy what's on offer.
"We fully appreciate that many festivalgoers from around New Zealand have already arrived in town and many are still planning to come for the weekend regardless.
"We want to do everything we can to make sure people know what will be happening, where and when, and we encourage events going ahead to let us know so we can help promote them."
Arnott said the trust is confident the independent events will create a festive atmosphere.
"After all, Art Deco is, in itself, a symbol of Napier and Hawke's Bay's resilience and tenacity."
Napier's Market St bar will continue its Art Deco celebrations with a performance from The Dave Atkin Group, who are due to headline the Ritz Street Party on Saturday night.
Comprising of Dave Atkin on keyboard, bassist Paul du Fresne, Joe Atkin on drums and vocalist Jess Atkin, the band hopes their jazz and blues crossover sound will help keep the festival spirit alive – almost two decades after first playing at the festival.
Dave Atkin, who's been a regular at the festival since the early 2000s, said the cancellation shouldn't mean the Art Deco buzz needs to fade.
"We figured people will always want to be out and about in Napier over Art Deco weekend – with or without the festival. The vibe won't be quite the same, but it will resurrect itself to a degree.
"Art Deco lives up to it every year – when we look around, there are people dancing for as far as you can see.
"We're now just out there rattling the cages to let people know it's still happening."
Arnott confirmed no official events running under the festival umbrella will go ahead.
"As we are advised by the associated independent events that are evolving, we are supporting them through listing information on our website, so people can see what they can attend," she said.
Atkin argued the plug may have been pulled on the annual event a little early.
"Why didn't they wait 12 hours? That will always be the debate," he said. "You can certainly understand how and why they came to the decision, but it would have been great if they'd held the bat for a few more hours.
"But, they clearly felt they needed to make the call there and then and couldn't wait any longer."
Arnott said the trust simply didn't have the luxury of time to wait until the Government announcement after "thousands of hours" of planning.
"Timing was everything, and in this instance, time wasn't on our side," she said.
Hawke's Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton said with a "spectacular weather forecast" on the cards, the independent events will help bring the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era to life.
Napier is expected to experience a steady rise in temperatures over Art Deco weekend, with highs of 24C, 25C and 26C on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Fine spells throughout the days are expected, despite some light winds.
Napier mayor Kirsten Wise said while visitors are encouraged to enjoy the warm weather and festivities, they should remember to be cautious.
"Remember we're in alert level 1, not alert level 'none'.
"That means using the Covid Tracer app and Bluetooth tracing function, keeping a safe distance of two metres from people you don't know, staying home if you're sick, and the other level 1 guidelines."
Saxton encouraged locals and visitors alike to "dust off the sparkly frocks and striped blazers" and get into the Art Deco spirit.
"We already have guests here ready to have a wonderful time in Hawke's Bay, and with more independent events being confirmed, we're confident that everyone, from those who have been before to those who are discovering our Art Deco heritage for the very time, will have a wonderful time," he said.
"The work of the trust over many years in protecting and promoting our heritage means that celebrating Art Deco can occur all year round, and the reduction in Covid-19 alert levels means we can still put on a show for visitors to the region."
Art Deco festivities were already on show on Thursday on the streets on Napier with Media Mint crowned the winner of the Art Deco Best Dressed Team Competition 2021.
Run by the Napier City Business Inc, the annual dress-up competition among local businesses saw UFS Pharmacy receive second prize, with Hohepa Creative Works in third place of the 25 entries.
OTHER UNOFFICAL EVENTS STILL GOING AHEAD
The Cabana has held on to several unofficial Art Deco events including Wellington-based jazz group Nicole and the High Society Swingers at 7pm on Friday and Saturday.
The annual Prohibition Casino was due to go ahead at the Urban Winery on Thursday night, while the Mission Estate Winery's Art Deco evening will go ahead. Guests will be treated to a three-course dinner, wines and live music from 7pm.
The Paisley Stage will also host the Real Prohibition Art Deco Party, featuring Lady and the Tramps, at 7.30pm on Friday.
Hastings District Council said despite the cancellation of the festival, Hawke's Bay historian Michael Fowler will start a walking tour around Hastings city centre to show the Art Deco architecture on Friday (9.30am, 11am and 1pm) and Saturday (9am).
Down Argentine Way, Hawke's Bay Latin Dance Club, Friday and Saturday from 10pm to midnight.
At the Pictures: Top Hat, Globe Theatrette, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
At the Pictures: Ninotchka, Globe Theatrette, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
CAN-Do Deco, Creative Arts Napier, February 18 to March 11.
Port O Call High Tea, Shop 2, Nelson Quay, 10am to 3.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Brunch with Style, County Hotel, 11.15am and 12.45pm on Friday and Saturday.
Ahuriri Dinner, Shed 2 on the Quay, 6pm on Friday and Saturday.
Par2 Mini Golf, Marine Parade, 9am to 5.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Deco Belles, Sound Shell Napier, 10am on Saturday.
Tea with the Stars, Hawke's Bay Holt Planetarium, 7pm to 9pm on Sunday.
Threads of Life, Little Theatre, 7.30pm on February 24 to March 6.
High Tea & History, Art Deco Masonic Hotel, 2pm on March 14.