Crowds out for festive village fun
Bouncy castles, magicians and street performers lined the streets of Havelock North as the street carnival burst into life on Saturday.
Event manager Alice McKinley said at least 10,000 people, mostly from Hawke’s Bay, ventured out to take part in the family fun event.
Originally known as Boulevard Day, the Village Street Carnival has been going since 2014 and is about celebrating Havelock North’s residents and thriving businesses.
From the Porter Hotel putting on dance classes for children and Jason Wawatai from Dogs on Bikes as MC, there was very little time for apathy throughout the day.
Organisers also teamed up with New World, allowing children to get creative and decorate supermarket trolleys before they were paraded down Napier Rd.
No one went hungry as food stalls staffed by award-winning cafes, restaurateurs and food trucks were also dotted along the streets so visitors could enjoy the local cuisine.
McKinley said after village residents were struck with campylobacter contamination in 2016, it was hugely distressful time.
“Havelock North had a bit of a hit, so there’s been a huge focus to bring back positivity back to the area, get everyone together as a community and just showcase all the great businesses and community groups,” she said. “There are so many incredible businesses in Havelock North which you wouldn’t even realise were based here and the carnival brings these businesses out into the open. You just don’t realise how much is going on in such a small place.”
McKinley said the event’s popularity was growing, with more people putting up hands to help plan and organise the event.
“So many people have come forward to help out this year. Last year we didn’t really have much of that, so it’s just been awesome to see people come out and make a huge difference.
“It’s just one day of the year where we’re able to promote the village as a community rather than an individual stall.”
At least 10,000 people visited the Havelock North Street Carnival last month.