Kaik­oura Seafest to go ahead

Marlborough Midweek - - OUT & ABOUT - JAMIE SMALL

Last Novem­ber’s earthquake won’t stop Kaik­oura host­ing its big an­nual fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber.

The last Kaik­oura Seafest, pop­u­lar with Marl­buri­ans, was held six weeks be­fore the dev­as­tat­ing earthquake that cut the town off from the rest of the coun­try, de­stroyed in­fra­struc­ture and wrecked build­ings.

Event or­gan­iser Sheena Hamil­ton said those in­volved con­sid­ered can­celling the 2017 event, mainly be­cause the ac­cess roads were not com­pletely re­paired and some ac­com­mo­da­tion was out of ac­tion.

‘‘We did con­sider our op­tions, was it the right thing to do? But yes, we think so,’’ she said.

‘‘It is a wee bit of a strug­gle to bring it to­gether, but we de­ter­mined it is go­ing to hap­pen.’’

Hamil­ton said there were ways around the ac­com­mo­da­tion prob­lem, but she was still find­ing out what was avail­able so she could make peo­ple aware of it.

‘‘I’m just about to catch up with all the hol­i­day parks to see what’s hap­pen­ing there, [and] hol­i­day houses.

‘‘There are def­i­nitely still mo­tels avail­able . . . the ca­pac­ity is down a little bit with some of them still to come back on line from re­pairs and that sort of thing.’’

The an­nual Seafest – which will mark its 23rd event on Oc­to­ber 7 – fea­tures mu­sic, cui­sine, and ‘‘a very

‘‘The ticket sales are a little ahead of where they were this time last year, and typ­i­cally with the fes­ti­val ticket sales don’t re­ally go boom un­til about three weeks be­fore­hand.’’

strong fes­ti­val at­mos­phere’’.

Hamil­ton said the fes­ti­val would not be smaller than last year.

‘‘The only thing that is a change is that be­cause the north­ern road is closed, our usual store­hold­ers or those peo­ple that would come from the north won’t be here this year.’’

About 4000 peo­ple at­tended last year’s event, and Hamil­ton said she did not ex­pect num­bers to drop this year.

‘‘The ticket sales are a little ahead of where they were this time last year, and typ­i­cally with the fes­ti­val ticket sales don’t re­ally go boom un­til about three weeks be­fore­hand.’’

The fes­ti­val was mainly tar­geted at the local mar­ket, she said.

‘‘Its those peo­ple who live around us . . . es­pe­cially Christchurch, they fully un­der­stand what’s hap­pen­ing and what’s still ahead of us.’’

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