A contrite woman has returned a giant 1.2m fork that she stole to take out for a night of partying.
F.A.W.C (Food & Wine Classic) organiser and Hawke's Bay Tourism marketing manager Ben Hutton feared the worst when the fork went missing from the portable F.A.W.C! sign after Fat Freddy's Drop love Chinatown event at Black Barn Vineyards in Havelock North on Friday night.
"The sign was brutally kidnapped," he posted on Facebook.
"We are fearing for its safety and just want it returned home where it belongs.
"F.A.W.C.! Family, please keep your eyes peeled for our beloved sign wherever you go - it's 1.2 metres tall, white, and shaped like a fork.
"If the kidnapper is reading this - we plead to end this F.A.W.C.!ing tragedy. We hate to think of the fork all alone, separated from the only family it's ever known…
"You can end this hostage situation now by returning it to the Hawke's Bay Tourism office in Ahuriri, no questions asked."
Hutton said the fork was returned by one of the fork lifters on Thursday.
"It was returned in person by a very contrite member of the group who borrowed the fork on Friday night, to continue the party with them after Black Barn Vineyard's event had wrapped up.
"We had a good laugh, and assured her we held no grudges and we're just happy to see it returned safely."
F.A.W.C.! is one of Hawke's Bay's biggest events and celebrates the region's food and wine.
The winter series is served up every year in June and the main summer event every November.