Whakatāne is gearing up to host its first seafood festival this month with Kiwi pop artist Theia set to headline the event.

Thousands are expected to flock to the Eastern Bay of Plenty for the inaugural festival on January 19 at Te Hau Tutua Park at the picturesque Whakatāne Heads, opposite the iconic Wairaka on the rock statue.

Proceeds from the day will go to the Whakatane Coastguard.

Gates open at midday and it finishes at 7pm after a performance by Christchurch-born artist Theia.

Advertisement

The singer and songwriter, who was nominated for three awards at the 2017 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, is one of the country's most exciting pop acts with a number of hits including Roam, Treat You and her latest single Candy.

Theia has performed at some of the biggest festivals in New Zealand including R&V, Bay Dreams, and Homegrown and is looking forward to performing her first-ever show in the summer hot spot of Whakatāne.

"It is such a beautiful town with so many friendly and welcoming locals," she said.

Delicacies such as paua, kina, crayfish, mussels, oysters, scallops, a variety of fresh fish will make the menu. Photo / File
Delicacies such as paua, kina, crayfish, mussels, oysters, scallops, a variety of fresh fish will make the menu. Photo / File

"I have visited a number of times but I've never had the chance to perform there. And the setting down at The Heads, right on the water, is just magical. I can't wait!"

Other acts set to play at the festival include Tasman Az and local Eastern Bay of Plenty talent Jinan Dodd, Made Alive, Jade Pritchard, Shelley Akuhata and Stix n Stones.

The Whakatāne Seafood Festival will feature some of the most popular pop-up food vendors and established culinary names in the country with punters able to choose from a tasty selection of the best seafood New Zealand has to offer with much of it caught fresh in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

On the menu will be a delicacies such as paua, kina, crayfish, mussels, oysters, scallops, a variety of fresh fish, as well as non-seafood dishes.

There will also be an appearance and cooking demonstration from Whakatāne's Pat Salmon from the hit TV series MKR.

Office Bar and Grill will be providing beer and wine with local company Mata Brewery on site with their selection of unique craft beers and cider.

The festival is open to all ages with a special Kids Zone hosting a number of fun and exciting activities including face painting, a super slide, bouncy castles and mini cars.

There's also lots of fun for the adults, with competitions for fish filleting, mussel shelling and for those keen on fancy dress, a prize for best dressed.

For more information about the festival visit https://whakataneseafoodfestival.nz/