Party time at Port Ahuriri
A recent ban on alcohol at Port Ahuriri School’s annual food and music festival has not dampened organisers’ spirits — in fact, quite the opposite.
“To be honest, it was never about the alcohol,” says organiser and parent Kelly Brown.
“It has always been about putting on a great evening for our kids, their families and our community. It made us more determined to put on an even better event. We are focused on the great line-up of bands and food and entertainment options available this year,”
This is the 12th year the school’s main fundraiser, which attracts crowds from the school and wider community, will be run. The entertainment line-up includes Tenzin Pradhan, Penelope and Liberty Fowler, Eilish Rose, The Shady Bunch and Jas and Friends.
A couple of additions to the menu — pork bao buns and Mediterranean salads — will be served up alongside the usual crowd favourites — lamb slammers, pirate prawns, tacos and curries.
Kelly says although it is always a challenge to get sponsorship, this year they have the support from beverage companies who have donated their product to help achieve the school’s fundraising goal.
“And amazing parents who tirelessly volunteer their time to go door-knocking.”
Lion has supplied adult Hopt sodas and sparkling grape juice, Honest Fizz from Bidfood, O Pure water and local beverage recent start-up The Apple Press.
“So no one is going to go thirsty or be bored.”
Kelly says the festival attracts plenty of people with no other connection to the school.
“Friends of mine with no children have been going to this event for years and there are plenty more from the community who just come along for some great food and to soak up the fun atmosphere. It has such a fantastic reputation of an accessible, fun family night out and the kids just love all the inflatables.”
Planning for the festival usually begins around midyear, with funds raised from past festivals used for fitness stations, cricket nets, pool upgrades, sports uniforms and more. Kelly says the organising committee is like a well-oiled machine, with “amazing” parents and community who give their time and resources.
“Some parents have been working on this event for the past eight or more years. There are some parents with fantastic relationships and connections who leverage them to make it such a fantastic event.”
She says some are particular ‘experts’ in certain areas, so tasks are broken up, with a coordinator elected for each area of the festival.
“Then each classroom is allocated a food stall which we then ask for parental help to run on the night. It works really well as everyone is involved and plays a part in the event’s success. The kids also help out with baking for the sweets stall and signage for the food stalls. So it really does feel like a school event.”
■ Port Ahuriri School festival, Friday, November 16, 4.30-7.30pm.
The Port Ahuriri Food and Music Festival in 2017.