Manaaki Hapurona, 3, of Moerewa, with Disney Princesses Elsa (Brody-Leigh Glanfield) and Moana (Janayah Wadsworth) at Russell's Tamariki Carnival. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Russell was buzzing during the weekend with not one but two festivals on Saturday — a Tamariki Carnival with dozens of kids activities at Pompallier Mission and, for the grown-ups, an Italian Festival just a short stroll away at Hōne's Garden restaurant.
Both drew big crowds.
An estimated 500 people enjoyed the Tamariki Carnival, well up on the 150 or so of last year's inaugural event.
The big drawcard of the carnival, organised by Heritage NZ and Project Island Song, was a bevy of Disney Princesses, but there was also entertainment from Russell Ukulele Orchestra and choral group Bella a Capella as well as children's games, a bird trail, a vintage fire engine, bouncy castles, a petting zoo and more. All activities were free.
Over at a packed Hōne's Garden, guests enjoyed live Italian music, mountains of pizza, a Sophia Loren lookalike contest, and stalls featuring treats from the mother country such as limoncello. Bellissimo!