The Art Deco Trust and Napier City Council face possibly their most important festival debrief after another "biggest-ever" Art Deco weekend stretched the city to its limits on Saturday.

While estimating deco crowd sizes is not an exact science, it's believed at least 25,000 people flocked into the CBD and Soundshell beachfront for a parade dominated by the vintage vehicles which were both the star attraction and part of the reason for the clogging of the streets and parking space.

It was widely estimated the crowd for the major event in the five-day festival was even bigger than for last year's 30th anniversary.

Closed for several hours around the 12.30pm parade start were Marine Parade between Browning and Vautier streets, CBD thoroughfare Emerson St and side streets, parts of Dickens, Tennyson and Hastings streets and areas around Clive and Memorial square where the parade began.


At its peak level, State Highway 2 to the south traffic had queued past Awatoto to the south and snarl-ups were common as people looked for parking spaces that often did not exist.

Trust acting general manager Vicky Rope conceded it is a case of anyone has the magical answer please let them know.

"They are saying it's the biggest-ever," said Rope. "We do have to look at the infrastructure. The event is big, and we do have to look at it in our debriefing. We and the council to have to take a big look at it."

"But we couldn't be happier with the weekend," she said. "The weather played its part, and we're really pleased Hawke's Bay put on a good weekend."

The international exposure for Napier, and Hawke's Bay, was again obvious, with foreign accents common among the crowds, while during the week seven cruise liners berthed at Napier Port.

"For them it was jaw-dropping," Rope said. "We had to explain to a lot of people that we don't do this all of the time."