Festival a cultural triumph
One of the organisers of Saturday’s inaugural Te Puke International Festival says she was “blown away” by the success of the event.
The late afternoon-early evening festival drew a good crowd to Jubilee Park — despite the threat of rain and it being one of a number of events held at the weekend.
“There were 25 food and market stalls and 10 to 12 different groups performing,”
said Monique Lints.
Te Puke Primary School’s kapa haka and Polynesian groups, children from the Tongan community and Rupal Mehta, who danced an Indian dance, were among the performers.
“What a turnout for the community — I still can’t get over how well it went,” said Monique. “My children were still talking about it as they were going to school this morning,” she said on Monday.
“There was lots of mixing and mingling and the feedback we are getting back is the food was amazing and can we do it again next month. Sadly, we can’t.”
But Monique says the festival will be back in 2019.
“Obviously the support is there to run it as an annual event and we will be gearing up for next year and taking on feedback and comments as to how we can do it better.”
She said she wanted the festival to be all-inclusive and of benefit to everyone who was there — and that there is the possibility of significant spinoffs for the town.
“It comes back to that whole feeling of belonging and connectedness, so if you know your neighbour, you know where they’re from, they then feel like they belong to our community and feel they can give back to the community. If the whole community is feeding into that, then what an amazing place this is going to be to live.”
‘ What a turnout for the community — i still can’t get over how well it went. My children were still talking about it as they were going to school this morning.’
MONIQUE LINTS Te Puke International Festival co-organiser
A good crowd went along to Te Puke’s inaugural International Festival.
Children from Te Puke’s Tongan community on the Jubilee Park stage.