Mu­sic, crowds add to fes­ti­val flavour

North Taranaki Midweek - - OUT & ABOUT -

OPIN­ION: It’s my own fault. I didn’t check the pro­gramme.

So when I went to the Fes­ti­val of Lights and re­alised there were no bands, no mu­sic at all, I was less than cheer­ful about it. But once dark­ness ar­rived and the lights kicked in, it was still good.

But I did miss the crowds, and lin­ing up at the cof­fee cart and peo­ple watch­ing on the Stuff Hatch­ery Lawn, which had be­come a wel­come habit. The thing about the lights is that you al­ways meet some­body you know but haven’t seen for a while so you can have a good old nat­ter. The bands played to a spe­cific age group but it was al­ways a fam­ily af­fair. Kids wan­der­ing around well past their bed­time and grand­par­ents mak­ing the most of the spe­cial magic they have with the grandies.

Those who pooh-pooed the lights say­ing it was the same as last year have sadly missed out. Yes it was the same, Poet’s Bridge pul­sated to the same squil­lion LEDs as last year but what the heck, it was still a great show and it was the peo­ple who made it so. The spe­cial at­mos­phere it gen­er­ated meant you could be cheeky to strangers and smiles were re­turned. I loooooved the Christ­mas tree in the Fern­ery. It was the most Christ­massy Christ­mas tree I have seen for a long while. All in all, top marks to NPDC and all the spon­sors and con­trac­tors who got it to­gether. Thank you one and all.

The other thing, or rather per­son I miss is the ‘Bub­ble Man’. The gent who would ar­rive at the beach or events mak­ing mon­ster bub­bles. He’d sell the spe­cial wands he made and the bub­ble mix­ture but even if he didn’t sell any, he would still en­ter­tain peo­ple by mak­ing the most gi­nor­mous bub­bles which would float along the beach or through the crowds at the mar­kets. Kids chased them and adults broke out in smiles. I’m not sure if you are around Bub­ble Man but you are missed and you will be re­mem­bered by a lot of peo­ple.

I guess my point is that we have to make the most of our op­por­tu­ni­ties while we have them don’t we? In Taranaki we have am­ple chances to do that and there aren’t many who have a gen­uine rea­son not to get off their back­sides and do things while we can.

John Sargeant


Round the Moun­tain

Your Mar­shalls do a great job. But couldn’t be­live when we saw one try to stop an ambulance with lights and siren on to let the bikes go through. Dar­ren James Spade­man


The 2017-18 Fes­ti­val of Lights is ev­ery bit as good as last year’s.

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