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Summer weather arrives just in time for Rose Festival



Summer weather arrives just in time for Rose Festival

Summer has finally arrived and just in time for this weekend’s Timaru Festival of Roses.

“It looks as if the weather will be settled for the next few days and that is just what we need” says Festival Director Chris Thomas. “We are full on with heaps of activities and events. We need plenty of sun to show off the spectacular garden blooms”.

The Festival now into its 11th year, kicks off tomorrow with a free guided tour of Timaru’s award winning rose collections in the Botanic Gardens. Timaru District Council’s horticultural officer, Peter Thomson, will take visitors through the collection and provide expert information on the history and characteristics of both the Species Roses and the Anderson Roses.

“This year The Open Gardens of Timaru feature 8 stunning gardens that are looking absolutely radiant” said Mr Thomas. “All 8 gardens are open from 11am – 5pm on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th November for the first time, two of the gardens will be open until 8pm on Friday evening with live jazz and wine tasting to enhance the experience”

Another festival staple is the Shop Window Competition which features dazzling displays reflecting the festival’s theme – Futuristic. The shop window runs from Monday 19th November and there is a public choice award along with judging by a celebrity panel.

The Market Day on Sunday has become Timaru’s very own big day out with shopping, entertainment, exhibitions, gourmet food and children’s activities combining to give festival goers a memorable day.

“With over 150 stalls to choose from, Christmas shopping has never been easier – we have garden and homewares, fashion and jewellery, craft, art and tasty treats all in the same space on Caroline Bay”. “Some new stall highlights for 2012 include Francesca’s Gourmet Wood fired Pizza’s from Wanaka , Lolly Mania and When Squirrel met Bear – a company who specialises in unique custom made props and accessories for weddings and events” said Mr Thomas.

Exhibitions will fill the Caroline Bay Hall and the Community Lounge with The South Canterbury Spring Rose Show, Floral Art designs and over 800 entries from South Canterbury school children vying for top honours in the BNZ Children’s Floral Fantasy.

Entertainment is always a big part of the Market Day and this year promises to have something for everyone with Pipe Bands, Soul, Jazz, Choirs, live music and the Geraldine group Third doing their Gangnam Style dance all appearing on the Sound Shell.

Headlining the day is the Sound Gardener, from Christchurch. A mobile street theatre group who masquerade as gardeners, performing on garden rakes and shovels, oil drums, PVC pipes, drinking cans and brooms.

“We are very excited to bring the Sound Gardeners to Timaru,” says Festival Director, Chris Thomas. They have created brand new show for the 2012 Timaru Festival of Roses which is inspired by the creative projects that are underway in the Red Zone in the centre of Christchurch“.

Visitor numbers at this year’s Festival events are predicted to top 10,000 with plenty of interest from garden clubs and societies. “As with previous year’s international tour groups are expected during the week” said Mr Thomas.

For further information visit

Ticket sales and accommodation are available through Timaru i-site; phone

03 687 9997 or email

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