Fun at the av­o­cado fes­ti­val

Food, mu­sic, tastes make fes­ti­val event

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice - By CHRIS STEEL

The Av­o­cado Food and Wine Fes­ti­val of­fers amas­sive lineup on Jan­uary 12— the Beat Girls are back by pop­u­lar de­mand, sup­ported by swing­funk band, Late 80s Mercedes and lo­cal favourite Sarah Spicer.

The Beat Girls, who love av­o­ca­dos, last rocked the fes­ti­val two years ago. The fe­male trio in their flashy cos­tumeswill take con­cert­go­ers on amu­si­cal jour­ney per­form­ing clas­sic hits from eight eras up to the present.

The Jan­uary 12 fes­ti­val is a pop­u­lar fam­ily event not to be missed, with ta­bles and gaze­bos set out in the pic­turesque Ure­tara Do­main. Get ready for a great af­ter­noon’s en­ter­tain­ment. Cir­cus in a Flash, Luke Dev­ery and Troupe Waihi will keep the fes­ti­val alive wan­der­ing around the crowd.

Ven­dor num­bers are up in 2019, 10 stalls of­fer a range of bou­tique beers and wines with 35 food stalls cater­ing for all tastes. Most ven­dors are en­cour­aged to use av­o­cado in their dishes. Av­o­cado ice­cream, av­o­cado cheese­cake and the best gua­co­mole ever are ex­pected to be crowd pleasers— so bring lots of cash.

Craft Al­ley is back but lim­ited to 15 stalls this year with mainly av­o­cado mer­chan­dise— wine cool­ers, hats and more.

The Seeka-spon­sored kitchen tent is back with chef Shane Yard­ley. He is one of Bay of Plenty’s most ex­pe­ri­enced and widely trav­elled chefs, and will demon­strate “how it’s done”.

The win­ner of the Best Smashed Av­o­cado Com­pe­ti­tion will be an­nounced at the fes­ti­val. Or­der the dishes from the five venues en­tered and vote.

Cor­po­rates at­tend­ing will be treated this year­with white picket fences out­side their sites and a plat­ter of food from The Hon­est Plat­ter.

There is plenty to keep chil­dren en­ter­tained with bouncy cas­tles, pup­pets, free face paint­ing and more in the free East­pack Kidz Zone through­out the day and the Lo­tus Bell tent pro­vid­ing a quiet space for lit­tlies. Stalls will have drinks and treats for chil­dren. The num­ber of por­taloos has in­creased this year with 30 on-site, since last year the queues were lengthy. Fes­ti­val com­mit­teemem­ber Jac­qui Knight said there had been some big changes to get a re­source con­sent to hold the fes­ti­val. “The com­mit­tee is thank­ful to the Coun­cil­lors sup­port to get it over the line.” The fes­ti­val started 14 years ago as the Katikati Fun­fest. In 2003 Pakeke Li­ons Club of Katikati ini­ti­ated the an­nual Food and Wine Fes­ti­val as ameans of rais­ing funds for lo­cal char­i­ties and es­tab­lished the Katikati Fun­Fest Char­i­ta­ble Trust. The first fes­ti­val was held at the Ure­tara Do­main in Jan­uary 2004. Man­aged on be­half of the Trust by Pakeke Li­ons Club of Katikati un­til 2012, when the Li­ons Club of Katikati joined. Grants to­tal­ing $158,000 have been made by the Trust since 2006. Funds raised from the 2019 fes­ti­val will go to the Katikati Sport and Recre­ation Cen­tre project.

■ Early Bird tick­ets are $20 (per per­son) and avail­able at Katikati In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre or on­line at up un­til 4pm on Fri­day, Jan­uary 11, 2019.


Sassy en­ter­tain­ers The Beat Girls head­line the 2019 Av­o­cado Food and Wine Fes­ti­val.

Chef Shane Yard­ley is back cook­ing up a storm at the fes­ti­val.

Last year’s fes­ti­val pro­vided great at­mos­phere and this year’s en­ter­tain­ment will get you danc­ing un­til your feet hurt.

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