Covid-19 hasn't stopped the Taranaki Garden festival going, or even growing.
The 33rd Taranaki Garden Festival, presented by TAFT, will launch on July 16 this year, as planned.
The festival team are confidently preparing the 2020 festival programme, which will take place from October 30 to November 8 and will offer visitors something extra this year, says festival manager Tetsu Garnett.
As in previous years, the Taranaki Garden Festival will present an inspiring mixture of award-winning gardens, parks, and open spaces from around the region.
The festival brings plenty of visitors to the region, 61 per cent of 2019's festival attendees came from outside of the region. With Taranaki becoming known as the garden capital of New Zealand, Garnett hopes to see more visitors from around country come to enjoy the stunning gardens and fantastic hospitality that Taranaki is renowned for.
• Premium - Taranaki's lush gardens a festival delight
• Central Taranaki gardens selected
• Taranaki Sustainable Backyard Trail celebrates low carbon living
• More power to the flowers in Taranaki gardens
The 33rd festival will see a new partnership with the Taranaki Arts Trail, both festivals opening over the same weekend and presenting a dual programme, says Garnett.
"Our partnership with Taranaki Arts Trail will be of regional benefit, we see this as an exciting new strategy which will attract new audiences for both festivals and give the local community, and the NZ domestic traveller a broader offering and numerous reasons to explore Taranaki."
The Taranaki Arts Trail was established in 2014 and has contributed to growing arts tourism in Taranaki. The vibrant and dynamic annual event attracts visitors who enjoy the unique opportunity to meet with artists in their studios and workshops. This year the Arts Trail has 84 artists registered, with close to 30 new artists who have not been part of the trail in previous years.
Taranaki Arts Trail co-ordinator Niki Jenkinson says the partnership between Taranaki Arts Trail 2020 and Taranaki Garden Festival 2020 enhances the "natural affinity" between artists and beautiful gardens.
"This is one of the most desirable months on the Taranaki calendar. Being able to say 'come to Taranaki for the weekend and visit over 80 open art studios and 40 gardens' has hefty appeal, and working collaboratively creates more marketing potential in attracting visitors from outside the region who will not only attend our events but to also support our regional businesses including accommodation suppliers, restaurants, cafes, and retail."
Visitors can expect to enjoy and experience a diverse array of cultural and creative work on display. With both nationally and internationally recognised artists and gardens throughout the whole Taranaki region, everyone involved is looking forward to presenting a world-class product for Spring, says Garnett.
"Our gardeners are artists too, in their design and creativity of their garden sanctuaries. They've been spending more time than usual in the garden, so be prepared to see something special this year."
The dual Taranaki Garden Festival and Taranaki Arts Trail programme will be available after the official launch on July 16, and from then visitors will be able to purchase garden tickets online or call 0800 746 363.