Ready to clink at Mid­dle Earth

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - SARA MEIJ

This year’s Nel­son Wine and Food Fes­ti­val will be shady, but in a good way.

Or­gan­iser Pete Glue said they were in­stalling a 12 by 12 me­tre shade sail to re­spond to the pub­lic ask­ing for more shade at the event.

They had pro­posed to move the event to un­der the trees at Rich­mond Park show­grounds this year, but vis­i­tors voted it should stay at Mid­dle-Earth Vine­yards in Bright­wa­ter.

Glue said the Can­cer So­ci­ety would also be putting up half a dozen mar­quees that peo­ple could seek shade un­der.

Sched­uled mu­si­cal acts this year in­clude The Dixie Prix, The Neal Broth­ers and the Nay­land Pri­mary kapa haka group.

‘‘They kick the event off with the live mu­sic,’’ he said. ‘‘We had them last year, the pub­lic re­ally loved them.’’

Glue said they were ex­pect­ing be­tween 2500 and 3000 peo­ple to at­tend the event on Sun­day, a sim­i­lar crowd to last year.

Ten winer­ies and four brew­eries were show­cas­ing their goods, in­clud­ing Seifried Estate Win­ery, Sprig and Fern and Hop Fed­er­a­tion.

For those with ap­petite dur­ing the day, there will be about 25 gourmet food stalls.

‘‘Thank God the weather is look­ing re­ally good, we were wor­ried about Cy­clone Gita but it looks like it won’t ar­rive in New Zealand un­til Wed­nes­day.’’

He said in the 14 years the event had been run­ning they had never had rain.

Glue said he ex­pected about 70 mo­torhomes to stay on the vine­yard dur­ing the week­end.

Self-con­tained mo­torhomes and car­a­vans could stay overnight on Satur­day and Sun­day for $10 a ve­hi­cle.

Other trans­port op­tions in­cluded buses from Nel­son. Fes­ti­val-go­ers were also en­cour­aged to cy­cle to the event along Tas­man’s Great Taste Trail.

There would be a clas­sic car show again this year, as well as clas­sic boats from Lake Ro­toiti on dis­play and some trac­tors from the Pi­geon Val­ley Steam Mu­seum.

Glue said the fes­ti­val, which is run by the Rich­mond Ro­tary Club, had raised $28,000 last year and over the past 14 years re­turned about $370,000 back into the com­mu­nity.

Money raised at this year’s event would go to the Nel­son Hospice, the Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Res­cue He­li­copter, St John’s, Nel­son Vol­un­teer Coast­guards, Rich­mond and Bright­wa­ter Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade, Women’s Refugee and Bright­wa­ter School.

The Nel­son Wine and Food Fes­ti­val, Mid­dle-Earth Vine­yards, Bright­wa­ter, Fe­bru­ary 18, 11am to 5pm. Early bird tick­ets $20, gate sales $25.

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