The streets were packed with community support for Bizlink Hāwera's winter festival.

Festival goers enjoyed late night shopping and live entertainment. This is the second winter festival organised by Bizlink Hāwera.

Jonte Van Endhoven, 13, was one of the musicians who kept the crowd entertained as they shopped.

Jonte Van Endhoven, 13, was one of the musicians who entertained the late night shoppers.
Jonte Van Endhoven, 13, was one of the musicians who entertained the late night shoppers.

Jonte says he has been performing for years, however this is the first time he has performed at the winter festival.

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"I performed at last year's Christmas parade which was quite fun. I enjoy performing for people."

Donna Hurley and her friend Marie O'Brien had their market stall set up for the evening. The pair sell children's novelty items and knitted dolls clothing.

"We have only just started. Over the summer we went to different markets but this is the first time we've been to the winter festival," Marie says.

Marie O'Brien (left) and Donna Hurley were running a market stall at the festival.
Marie O'Brien (left) and Donna Hurley were running a market stall at the festival.

Donna says the winter festival is 'great' for the town.

"It brings people in and they have the opportunity to shop in the evening which is great for the town's economy."

Paper Plus Hāwera were one of many businesses open throughout the evening.

Staff member Keelah Mitchell says there was a steady flow of customers through the door throughout the festival.

"It's great to have the community come out. Hāwera hasn't had a get together since the Christmas Parade."

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Kohi Volunteer Rural Fire Force had a kitchen fire demonstration at the festival.
Kohi Volunteer Rural Fire Force had a kitchen fire demonstration at the festival.

The shop was open for last year's festival as well.

"It's great for the town. The community has the opportunity to shop at night which is great as it supports the local businesses after the lockdown."

Sophie Cocker, 10, says she enjoyed making big bubbles at the festival.

Sophie Cocker, 10, enjoyed making bubbles.
Sophie Cocker, 10, enjoyed making bubbles.

"The bubbles were really big and fun to make with the bubble wands."

One of the popular attractions of the night was the interactive exhibit at Lysaght Watt Gallery.

Children visited the gallery and coloured in a large picture, which will be displayed temporarily in the town.

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Carlos Healy, 9, says he enjoyed colouring in the photo.

Carlos Healy, 9, enjoyed colouring in at the Lysaght Watt Gallery.
Carlos Healy, 9, enjoyed colouring in at the Lysaght Watt Gallery.

"It's really cool that I'm helping to colour in something that will be displayed."

Committee member Gail Thompson says chairwoman Ella Burrows and her husband Chester drew the photo over the weekend.

"The committee thought it would be wonderful to have something to get the kids involved. We're always interested in getting children interested in art as they are the ones who will carry it through for the future generations."

The festival, featured a smoked meat competition, with meat donated by Silver Fern Farms. Over $2200 was raised for the Rural Fire Brigade through the ticket sales.

Festival goers who purchased a platter of meat voted for their top three.

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First place was won by Andrew Lennox, with Campbell Mason coming second place and Hayden Andreoli placing third.

Bizlink co-ordinator Petra Finer says the winter festival was 'fantastic'.

"There was a great vibe, town was busy and trade was up. We were delighted to see the community swell of support for local business and community events."

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