A new layout, a record number of food and wine stalls and thousands of revellers made this year's Kerikeri Street Party a great success, organisers say.
Originally held in 2009 by a group of bed and breakfast owners to persuade out-of-town runners in the half marathon to stay an extra night instead of going home straight after prize giving, the event now draws up to 5000 people.
Last year's event was canned after torrential rain threatened to make the powered stalls and stages unsafe, so Saturday's fine weather was a huge relief for the organisers.
Street Party Committee spokeswoman Tracey Bree said there was no official tally as yet for the number of party-goers but it was definitely no less than in other years.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
''What a difference a beautiful day makes,'' she said.
Changes this year included a separate, fenced off area for VIP tables and locating most of the entertainment — including four of the five bands — on one stage at the top of street, instead of the three smaller stages of previous years.
That allowed better flow, avoided congestion in the middle of the party zone, and meant space for more stalls. The 31 food and 16 beverage stalls were mostly run by local restaurants and cafes, but a few community groups seized the chance for fundraising and students from QRC's hospitality school took part for the first time.
Bree said the new layout was likely to be continued next year.
''We think we've got the flow much better.''
The sold out VIP tables, together with sponsorship, grants and community support, kept the event free. It was entirely run by volunteers with help from Waipapa Rotary on the gates and Kerikeri Fire Brigade during setting up and packing down.
The event is underwritten by the Kerikeri Business Association and organised by the Kerikeri Street Party Committee.