Rotorua came together in creativity and community as people enjoyed browsing at an annual event.

This year's Art in the Park was held last weekend - a family-friendly event with free live music, an art-making activity, food and more than 50 market stalls with artist-made goods and artisan products.

It has been held in the Government Gardens for more than 20 years.

The Arts Village director Mary-Beth Acres says this year's Art in the Park went well.


They had a great day with record numbers attending (estimated 2400) and the rain stayed away.

"It is a very big effort from our staff, trustees, and volunteers especially, and I am really grateful for all of their hard work that pulled this event together. We are just a little non-profit organisation who work really hard for our community and it is cool to see the results on event-day."

Mary-Beth says she always loves how the community atmosphere is so sweet with people helping each other set up gazebos and carry tables.

"Through the day the stallholders chat with each other as well as the public coming through, and these kinds of community connections show off the best of Rotorua - the people."

She says the Taste of the Philippines food stall was also a huge hit as a new stallholder, and The Arts Village would like more food vendors to come on board next year.

Susan Lowe (left) and Jan Hardy with colourful creations. Photo / Stephen Parker
Susan Lowe (left) and Jan Hardy with colourful creations. Photo / Stephen Parker

Mary-Beth says in chatting to stallholders many had good numbers of sales, and community groups got the word out about their mahi and made some new connections.

"It was awesome to see a lot of locals and tourists out enjoying the day in the beautiful Government Gardens. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful setting for this event.

"Our massive thanks to Creative Communities who funded the music for this event. The sound was done by Noel Lamberton and his team who always look after our musicians amazingly - it was a real highlight."


She also thanks NZCT for funding support.

"We hope that the community will keep supporting this annual event long into the future."

She says The Arts Village has plenty coming up in the next couple months, including Kelly Shrimpton's solo exhibition opening next month and an interactive outdoor art installation opening in March.