Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Wild Times at Wildfoods Festival


Wild Times at Wildfoods Festival

For over 20 years, the Hokitika township has played host to a celebration of wild foods, wild drinks and wild times – and this year was no exception.

Now in its 23rd year, the annual Wildfoods Festival was held on Saturday, 10 March, attracting a crowd of almost 12,000 local, national and international visitors.

With over 50 stalls covering a broad array of foods, event organiser Mike Keenan says the festival was a real hit with all those who attended. “This year, it was exciting to offer our largest range of foods ever,” says Mike Keenan. “People really enjoyed the diverse smorgasbord of foods on offer, tasting things they hadn’t tried – or even thought about trying – before. With beetles and grubs for appetisers, gamey meats and fresh seafood for a surf ‘n’ turf lunch, and plenty of sweet desserts – with optional bugs – it was easy to create a flavoursome menu.”

As well as the lure of wild foods – and drinks – the festival offered entertainment throughout the day, with an assortment of musical styles and characters, and a series of well-attended culinary demonstrations by renowned celebrity chef Charles Royal. The festival was officially opened by Hon Gerry Brownlee.

A highlight for many attendees was the festival’s first ever wedding, a formal, elegant affair with 100 guests and over a thousand onlookers, held on the main stage.

“We were delighted to be approached by the couple who asked if we would be able to host their wedding at the festival,” says Mr Keenan. “It was certainly a first for us, but quite fitting for Eli and Liz who met at the festival, and have been regular attendees for many years. What a wild way to start married life – we wish them all the best.”

Organisers were extremely happy with the quality of the stalls, with judges extremely impressed with the style, service and enthusiasm on display. A range of awards are made every year to stall holders with Curly Tree Whitebait judged ‘best new food’, Udderly Wild Desserts the ‘best community stall’, Deep Creek Delicatessen Corner the ‘best commercial stall, and the award for ‘best overall stall’ going to Wild Boar Long Dogs.

The day was also notable for the amount of effort attendees put in to dressing for the festival. Colourful and courageous costumes were the order of the day, with a selection to rival Sevens tournaments. Winner of ‘best festival’ costume was an attendee from Darfield whose combination gorilla suit with caged captive struck the judges as the most original.

The festival attracts thousands of visitors of visitors each year from throughout the country and overseas, as well as generating significant national and international media interest, and has been listed as one of 300 Unmissable Festival and Events Around the World by international travel writes, Frommers. Reporters from as far away as England and Argentina covered this year’s event.

Mr Keenan says he was pleased with the behaviour of the crowd, which swells the population of Hokitika over the weekend. “Part of the unique nature of the Wildfoods Festival is the friendly atmosphere. It caters to a range of ages – and palates – which is something we have always encouraged.”

The festival also makes a significant contribution to the local area, with volunteer groups, clubs and local charities the main benefactors. Organisers estimate the festival provides around $3 million in direct contribution to the community each year.

While the region is known for its high rainfall, the weather was dry and warm all day. “The temperature was just perfect for an outdoor event, adding to the atmosphere and boosting attendance numbers,” says Mr Keenan. “We had strong pre-sales leading up to the festival, particularly in the final weeks, with a large walk up crowd buying gate-sale tickets.”

-ends-


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news