Rain fails to dampen Seafest spirits
It was touch and go, and the weather certainly didn’t play ball, but a sell-out crowd flooded into Kaiko¯ura for the quake-hit town’s favourite event - Seafest.
Accommodation operators in the town reported full houses, and even the backpackers’ hostel, which had been quiet since the quake in November last year, was full to the brim.
The event drew people from all over, and buses were busy ferrying revellers into town from outlying camp grounds.
Event manager Sheena Hamilton said all 4000 tickets had been sold.
‘‘It’s been great for Kaiko¯ura - well above expectations .... many thanks to those that came from out of town.
‘‘Thank you for supporting us,’’ Hamilton said.
Ekow Quainoo from Christchurch, said it was good to be able to support the town.
‘‘Stand up tall - kia kaha Kaiko¯ura,’’ Quainoo said.
The festival is in its 37th year, and is centred around the seafood the Kaiko¯ura region is known for.
The nautical theme carried over into the costumes. As the afternoon wore on the Big Top was heaving with pirates, and an assortment of marine life - sharks, jellyfish, lobsters and mermaids.
While the rain was persistent, nothing could deter the crowd’s energy and people were still pouring in the gates at 2pm as queues formed 100 metres down the road.
Destination Kaiko¯ura manager Glenn Ormsby said organisers had hoped ticket sales would be similar to last year.
‘‘It’s fantastic people have come to support. The crowd seemed very happy.
‘‘It’s unfortunate about the weather, but you can’t control that.’’
Sergeant Mike Wardle from Traffic Alcohol Group said the crowd had been relaxed.
‘‘People have made the extra effort to come here and support the event, and they’re positive despite the weather.
He said they had put a lot of cars through the vehicle checkpoint the night before and it was pleasing they hadn’t picked up anyone with a high breath alcohol reading.
Josiane McGregor from Rangiora said she was having a fantastic time.
‘‘We brought the kids here so they can have fun. It doesn’t matter about the weather.’’
A frenzy of sharks, from left, Hayden Andrews, Matt Fatplin, Ryan Cocking, and Tyler Koning, of Christchurch.