If you think you're seeing things twice, in October in Taupō, you'll have an excuse.

From October 2 to October 11 the Malcolm Flowers Insurances Taupō Winter Festival returns to the town, bringing more than a dozen new events to surprise, delight, challenge, inspire and entertain.

The festival normally runs during the July school holidays, and this year put on a programme of outdoor events from July 3 to July 19 but due uncertainly around Covid-19 restrictions, the indoor events and shows were postponed to October.

The October programme was launched on Tuesday evening and is now on the Taupō Winter Festival website, taupowinterfestival.co.nz.

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The October programme - called Take 2! - features mainly ticketed and paid events, while the July events were all either free or low cost, although some free events are also included.

Carrying on the theme of the popular Whisky & Jazz, Bourbon & Blues and Rum & Rock events of previous years, this year's music and drinks event is Crafty Covers, featuring a selection of craft beers and ciders, with guests kicking up their heels to the sounds of New Zealand covers band White Chapel Jak's fresh and funky approach to well-known favourites.

Captain Festus McBoyle', the unwashed, semi-toothed and uncouth pirate brings his Travellin' Variety Show to the Great Lake Centre on Saturday, October 10.
Captain Festus McBoyle', the unwashed, semi-toothed and uncouth pirate brings his Travellin' Variety Show to the Great Lake Centre on Saturday, October 10.

The theatre event is A Traveller's Guide to Turkish Dogs a true story of a dog and her man, which comes from Circa Theatre in Wellington and has attracted rave reviews. Families wil enjoy the Captain Festus McBoyle's Travellin' Variety show, billed as 'a vaudevillian musical comedy show for the whole family'.

Crime aficionados can try to unravel the mystery of who killed Aiden Abet at the Harcourts Taupō Who Dunnit Murder Mystery Dinner, held appropriately at Taupō Funeral Services, which was also the scene of last year's popular festival crime event Death by Doughnuts.

Food is also the drawcard at the Cheal Degustation Dinner presented by Tastes of Taupō and hosted at Baked with Love. The dinner is a five course degustation with cocktail and the option to purchase a wine or beer match.

White Chapel Jak, a high-energy acoustic Kiwiana band, will be playing at the Crafty Covers event on Friday, October 9.
White Chapel Jak, a high-energy acoustic Kiwiana band, will be playing at the Crafty Covers event on Friday, October 9.

Every year the festival features an author's event and this year is no exception, with award-winning author Becky Manawatu, whose novel Auē won the major prize at this year's Ockham NZ Book Awards. Classical music fans are also not forgotten, with the New Zealand String Quartet performing its programme Beethoven: Immortal at Millennium Manuels on Sunday, October 11.

It wouldn't be a Taupō Winter Festival without the traditional Pak'n Save Pancake Breakfast, and this will be back in 2020, along with the Kefi Roller Disco, a photography exhibition, midday concert, a Creation Station activity for the youngsters and the Taupō Talent Quest with the Taupō Youth Arts Trust.

Full details of the programme are on the festival website and tickets go on sale on Monday, August 10.

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