After nearly eight months with little to no major events in Hawke's Bay, unique things for large crowds to do are starting to jam-pack calenders across the region again.
Auckland joined the rest of New Zealand in level 1 on Wednesday and the gradual lowering of levels has given struggling event organisers a huge shot in the arm.
For some punters it will be a case of how much they can get to in a single weekend, as events postponed due to Covid-19 precautions drop in one after the other for the next few months.
One of the first off the mark is this weekend's Hawke's Bay Home & Garden Show, back for its 30th anniversary from October 9 to 11 at McLean Park.
Marketing manager Emily Shanley has in the past few week finally been able to talk to media about an event that is going ahead, rather than one that is filled with uncertainty.
The show was originally scheduled for September 4 to 6 but the Covid-19 resurgence meant they had to postpone everything, something event organisers have become used to this year, she said.
Usually running 11 events a year, this weekend is only the third home show since March, with shows elsewhere in the country the previous two weeks.
She says alongside tourism, the events industry has been one of the worst hit by Covid but the support of shows so far has been "fantastic".
"Any elevation of alert levels you're the first to stop operating and you're the last to return again - it's been extremely tough for the whole industry."
Without the usual scheduled events some exhibitors have lost out on money so Shanley says it is "rewarding" to be able to host the shows once again and be a part of economic recovery.
"For the events industry around the world, we are incredibly lucky to be in a position where we are holding events.
"Some countries around the world it's not even on the horizon this year. We do feel really grateful so we hope that we're a little bit of a light for others looking on around the world."
She hopes people will get out and support the event and says even if someone doesn't have a project on the go, just coming to the show is supportive.
The annual Fringe in the 'Stings event is also on from Thursday until Saturday and will test the limits with quirky performances, such as an accordion player who sings covers in Klingon and self-proclaimed freaks pushing the limits of their R18 rating.
The affordable and walkable event is in the east side of Hastings city and features a variety of performances from R18 events anger management with punks and pinata, and burlesque dancing and family shows such as a Magnus Steele interactive crime-thriller, the RNZAF Octet, folk group ISH and more.
The event's creative director Anton Wuts says "kids don't often get the chance to see quality live performance, but it can ignite something in them that nothing else can".
"All our venues are intimate, so people will get an up-close and personal encounter with the talent. It's literally in your face," Wuts said.
Most of the venues are within easy walking distance, and the organisers encourage locals to visit multiple performances and make a night of it.
Local music venues Paisley Stage and the Cabana have shows playing on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Toitoi – Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre is also hosting a Poets' Night Out featuring NZ Poet Laureate David Eggleton and guests on Saturday night.
Family options include The Original Gypsy Fair at the Havelock North Domain on Saturday and the Havelock North Village Street Carnival will be held in the village on the same day from 9am.
The Waipawa Spring Festival Duck Day is also on this Saturday at Nelly Jull Park, Islington Drive, Waipawa.
Part of The Spring Fling, the free event starts at 9am, with the highly anticipated annual duck race at 1.15pm.
There will be market stalls and entertainment.