It's party time

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Uni­corns, fairies, ride-on an­i­mals and DIY cakes that can be baked in a card­board box fea­tured in the coun­try’s first chil­dren’s party expo.

Par­ents, kids and stall-hold­ers alike seemed to agree that the op­por­tu­nity to find party ideas and prod­ucts un­der the one roof at Palmer­ston North’s Conference and Func­tion Cen­tre yes­ter­day was a great one.

Kelly Wil­son turned up on the first day of the two-day event at 11am with her chil­dren Amelia, 4, and Avery, 2, and was still there at 3pm.

‘‘They liked the ride-ons,’’ Wil­son said, re­fer­ring to the colour­ful bat­tery-pow­ered an­i­mals on the Fun­time stall.

‘‘Amelia also liked the Boom peo­ple... the fairy, and tried out the sur­vivor sec­tion, though that was aimed at older chil­dren.’’

The Boom Events ‘‘fairy’’ and owner with part­ner Piers Finch, was Ge­or­gia Berg­er­son from the re­al­ity TV show Sur­vivor NZ.

‘‘[Amelia] was hav­ing lots of fun,’’ Wil­son said.

Her pref­er­ence was for the com­pany that de­signed themed and be­spoke dec­o­ra­tions.

‘‘Much bet­ter than try­ing to make your own.’’

Kelly Hor­rocks of Whanganui’s Kelly Louise De­signs said she en­joyed the op­por­tu­nity to get out and talk to peo­ple, as it was far too easy to be­come ‘‘lost in all the so­cial me­dia’’.

For par­ents who lacked con­fi­dence, skills or time when it came to bak­ing birth­day cakes, Shayne Hughes and Ange Rye, also from Whanganui, had a so­lu­tion in more than 200 DIY cake de­signs, and their sup­plied in­gre­di­ents could be mixed up and baked at 160°C in a pre-greased dis­pos­able card­board box.

‘‘We have six kids, so there are a lot of tasters,’’ Rye said.

John Lua­manu from Ash­hurst said he was ‘‘fi­nancier’’ of Ranger 5 nerf guns, that gave his chil­dren Eden and Reef Lua­manu prac­ti­cal busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence and skills that weren’t taught in schools, and ‘‘an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the hard work that goes into a com­pany’’.

Or­gan­iser Emma An­der­son said she was pleased with how the show had gone.

Re­ac­tion from ex­hibitors and from vis­i­tors had been most en­cour­ag­ing.

‘‘We left a lot of paint and glitter on the floor. Peo­ple who came said they wanted to see more ideas, but 90 per cent of those who took part in our sur­vey rated it five out of five,’’ An­der­son said.

PHOTO: DAVID UNWIN/STUFF

Ash­ling Caulton, 5, with Ge­or­gia Berg­er­son from Boom Events.

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