Party time at Port Ahuriri

Napier Courier - - News - BY BRENDA VOWDEN [email protected]

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.

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