Napier fills up for art deco bash
Just days out from the start of this year’s art deco festival, Napier had hung out the no vacancy sign as the city braced for its annual influx of visitors.
The five-day festival which starts today is dubbed as an event that sees Napier ‘‘transported back to the art deco era of the 1920s and 30s, celebrating our unique heritage, as well as the fashion, music, art, cars, planes, trains and incredible charm that made the art deco era so special’’.
Festival organiser Glen Pickering said it was looking like a ‘‘massive year’’ with 86 per cent of tickets available for the various events sold by late last week, well ahead of sales at the same time last year.
About 12,000 people were expected at the ticketed events, while the entire event attracted about 40,000 visitors to Hawke’s Bay.
Virtually all available accommodation for the weekend had been snapped up for some time, with many visitors booking their 2017 stay directly after attending last year’s event, Pickering said.
While he was keeping a close watch on the weekend’s weather forecast, Pickering was confident the conditions would not let the event down. ’’Traditionally the weather has been fantastic for the festival. We definitely know that at least two out of the five days will be amazing.’’
New events included a cabaret tribute to music legend Cole Porter by international performer Michael Griffiths at the MTG Cen- tury Theatre and performances of the opera Carmen at the Municipal Theatre. The New Zealand Male Choir would also perform at the Century Theatre.
The festival’s many regular free events were returning, including the soap box derby, vintage car parade and vintage aeroplane aerial displays.
‘‘What this festival does for Hawke’s Bay – for tourism and for the community – makes it the premium event for the region,’’ Pickering said.
‘‘The key to it is that it’s our heritage. It’s our festival and it’s really exciting.’’
The festival attracts about 40,000 visitors to Hawke’s Bay and accommodation is sold out.