The Rotorua Summer Seafood Festival was a hit on Saturday and attracted more people than expected.

The inaugural festival provided an array of seafood, a variety of drink stalls, local entertainment and the chance to take part in a mussel-shelling competition.

The event was hosted by My Kitchen Rules semi-finalists Jay and Sarah, who gave a cooking demonstration.

Te Kotahitanga O Te Arawa Waka Fisheries Trust seafood manager Mericia Waqanimaravu said "it went fabulously well".


"People's feedback was that it was great."

There were more people than they had expected and some stalls sold out of their products throughout the day.

"People were buying them and loving them," she said.

"Every stall was getting a good amount of crowd in."

Mrs Waqanimaravu said there were local chefs involved, along with some from the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel.

The celebrity chef demonstration was well-received and it was "great to have fresh faces in Rotorua".

Festival-goer Joanna Wilce said they enjoyed the day.

"It was a great mix of different types of seafood."

The live entertainment was "really good", Mrs Wilce said.

"It created a good ambience. It was lovely background music to sit and chill out in the sun to.

"The best food we had was a scallop and bacon fritter, that was really tasty, but the mussels were really good, too."