Arts lovers, families and anybody who just likes to get out and about and enjoy themselves in school holidays, can all breathe a sigh of relief.
The best-loved arts event on the Taupō district calendar is returning this year - and in 2020 it's returning twice.
It's the Malcolm Flowers Insurances Taupō Winter Festival, the annual celebration of fun, art, theatre, family, books, music, drink and all things wintery. The festival has been running since 2016 and has grown in size and popularity every year.
Traditionally held during the July school holidays to draw visiting families to Taupō and its town centre as well as embrace all the good things about winter, planning for this year's festival was thrown a curve ball in March when the country went into lockdown with no certainty about when it would come out or what sort of events would be able to be held afterward, or when.
But now the festival's indefatigable, largely voluntary organising committee has come up with a solution - a range of events that can run with social distancing if necessary in July, with more to hopefully follow in October.
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Festival director Nicola Carter says so far, activities planned for the July portion of the Malcolm Flowers Insurances Taupō Winter Festival include the Wairakei Estate ice rink, the Rapids Jet ice slide, Ebbett Fun Zone and the Unison light hub.
Additional activities which are yet to be confirmed are the Mt Ruapehu snow globe, the More FM mid-winter swim, Zirka Circus and the Giggle Funsie Onesie Run; and the festival hopes to add more events as Covid-19 restrictions allow. Some activities will be free and others will have a charge to cover costs.
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Then, in October, Nicola has booked the Great Lake Centre for four days in the school holidays and hopes New Zealand will be at an alert level that will allow the indoor part of the winter festival to proceed without the need for social distancing. That portion is likely to have theatre, dance, music and food events.
The popular festival music and drinking event will return and this year's is Crafty Covers (think craft beer and a covers band, following on from the successful Whisky & Jazz, Bourbon & Blues and Rum & Rock combos of previous years). There will also be chamber music, a readers' and writers' event and others.
With everything subject to change depending on New Zealand's Covid-19 status, Nicola says there won't be a printed programme produced this year and instead the festival website www.taupowinterfestival.co.nz and the Facebook page will be updated as new events are added.
She says there's a real sense of pride from the One Taupō Trust, which owns the festival, to be able to plan to safely deliver festival events in July given everything that's happened so far this year.
"We've worked really hard. It's been our priority all along not to have to cancel and to hold on as long as we can and work as hard as we can to be able to deliver something to this town given what everyone's been through. To be able to put something on that will bring people into town to support Taupō's economy is really pleasing."
Nicola says where possible the festival is using local suppliers and expects the activity of the festival will generate benefits for retailers and hospitality businesses too.