The Bizlink Hāwera Winter Festival is back for its third year running and it is going to be bigger and better than ever.
This free family event is a great opportunity to head to Hāwera with whānau and friends to enjoy some late-night shopping, live music, unique stalls and a selection of delicious food.
"One of the favourite Winter Fest activities is to roast marshmallows over our custom-made braziers," says Nikki Watson, Bizlink Hāwera co-ordinator.
"This is one of our most popular free activities. We're so lucky that Normanby and District Lions supervise this every year to help keep our community safe and full of marshmallows. This is the first year we'll be using our brand-new custom-made braziers. Croucher and Crowder have co-sponsored, designed and built these especially for our winter festivals."
A new feature this year will be the live fire displays taking place in the Tasman Toyota section (High St). Bizlink has convinced a local father-son team who are already experienced in the art of fire displays to perform for the public. It should be an exciting new addition.
"The fire display is directly across the road from the live music in the Town Square," Nikki says.
"Sonic Delusion and Lauren Nottingham will be sharing the stage there and we've also got three musicians who will be performing throughout High St - Wilbur Raikes, Mitch Careswell and Jonte Van Endhoven."
Extremely popular in 2020, the Smoked Brisket Cook-Off is back this year but this time it'll be located in Campbell Lane.
"Tickets for this are available from Caffeinate but be in quick because they're selling out fast," says Petra Finer, Bizlink Hāwera co-ordinator.
"One ticket pays for your dinner, a vote in the Smoked Brisket Competition and helps to support Menzshed Hāwera. This year all proceeds from these meat sales are being donated to Menzshed Hāwera."
There are plenty of food options for anyone who misses out on brisket cook-off tickets, Petra says. Fern Takeaways are bringing their Kai Waka to town, there's going to be a Mini Donut cart, Up and Joe's Coffee Cart plus all of the Hāwera food and coffee businesses open.
"Another attraction this year will be the Silent Disco at the former Oxygen Building. Entry is through Regent St, and inside will be two DJs battling for their listeners' musical attention. Upon entry, listeners will be given headphones with a button on the side which can switch between the differing DJ beats. These DJs can see who you are listening to by what colour the button on your headphones glow."
Nikki says there will also be funky neon face painters and someone ready with neon hairsprays at Oxygen.
"We would love to see some brave people come to town with some creative lit up style so this Winter Festival we'll be handing out a few spot prizes to people with some of the best lit up outfits, scooters, or bicycles."
It's all go between 214 and 242 High St, where the businesses are working together to run a Pizza Eating Competition as a fundraiser for St John Ambulance Service. It all kicks off at 5.15pm outside T&H Betta Electrical.
The Pizza Eating Competition registration is just $10 per person, and then participants gather sponsorship in exchange for eating as many pizza slices as they can in a 10-minute period. Petra says this is a great and fun way to raise money for St John Ambulance.