Fes­ti­val a cul­tural tri­umph

Te Puke Times - - FRONT PAGE - By STU­ART WHI­TAKER news@tepuke­times.co.nz

One of the or­gan­is­ers of Satur­day’s in­au­gu­ral Te Puke In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val says she was “blown away” by the suc­cess of the event.

The late af­ter­noon-early evening fes­ti­val drew a good crowd to Ju­bilee Park — de­spite the threat of rain and it be­ing one of a num­ber of events held at the week­end.

“There were 25 food and mar­ket stalls and 10 to 12 dif­fer­ent groups per­form­ing,”

said Monique Lints.

Te Puke Pri­mary School’s kapa haka and Poly­ne­sian groups, chil­dren from the Ton­gan com­mu­nity and Ru­pal Me­hta, who danced an In­dian dance, were among the per­form­ers.

“What a turnout for the com­mu­nity — I still can’t get over how well it went,” said Monique. “My chil­dren were still talk­ing about it as they were go­ing to school this morn­ing,” she said on Mon­day.

“There was lots of mix­ing and min­gling and the feed­back we are get­ting back is the food was amaz­ing and can we do it again next month. Sadly, we can’t.”

But Monique says the fes­ti­val will be back in 2019.

“Ob­vi­ously the sup­port is there to run it as an an­nual event and we will be gear­ing up for next year and tak­ing on feed­back and com­ments as to how we can do it bet­ter.”

She said she wanted the fes­ti­val to be all-in­clu­sive and of ben­e­fit to ev­ery­one who was there — and that there is the pos­si­bil­ity of sig­nif­i­cant spinoffs for the town.

“It comes back to that whole feel­ing of be­long­ing and con­nect­ed­ness, so if you know your neigh­bour, you know where they’re from, they then feel like they be­long to our com­mu­nity and feel they can give back to the com­mu­nity. If the whole com­mu­nity is feed­ing into that, then what an amaz­ing place this is go­ing to be to live.”

‘ What a turnout for the com­mu­nity — i still can’t get over how well it went. My chil­dren were still talk­ing about it as they were go­ing to school this morn­ing.’

MONIQUE LINTS Te Puke In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val co-or­gan­iser

A good crowd went along to Te Puke’s in­au­gu­ral In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val.

Chil­dren from Te Puke’s Ton­gan com­mu­nity on the Ju­bilee Park stage.

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