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Kāpiti Food Fair: Getting Ready For December 2nd!

 The countdown is on with just over two weeks to go until it’s time to open the gates for the 2023 Kāpiti Food Fair! There’s a lot still left to tick off the to-do lists for the team behind-the-scenes. From a last look at the vendor site map, setting up visitor and vendor surveys, finalising the volunteer briefings, bringing together the run sheet, and even last-minute hospitality prep around the Tuatara Bar & Stage so everything runs smoothly on the day, just to mention a few.

“Each year, we receive so much support, and as always, I’m buzzing from the help that shows up,” shared Fair co-owner Helene Judge. “With an event of this size, we always have back up plans in place, and 2023 is no different. We’re encouraging everyone to get their tickets online ahead of time so they don’t have to wait long in the Ticket Office queue to purchase them. Who wants to be stuck in the queue when there’s so much food to eat, shopping to do, people to see, and entertainment galore on offer by many talented performing artists!”

Jeanine van Kradenburg, the other co-owner of the Fair, added, “If you don’t want to wait in the queue there will be QR codes near to both Gate Entry points that you can scan and purchase your tickets online easily on your phone. You will then be able to be scanned into the Fair from the email that will be sent to your phone from our booking platform, Humanitix.”

Wrangling friends and family shouldn’t be a problem for what locals call the most joyful day out on the Kāpiti Coast! The ZEAL Zone is back again, so bring the little ones, remembering they’re FREE to enter up to 16 years of age – and let them loose in the supervised Kids’ Zone! There’s plenty to do and lots of fun to have with entertainment from local rangatahi, and even free face painting by Daizy Design Face Painting.

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Don’t want to leave your furbaby at home? The good news is, you don’t have to because the Kāpiti Food Fair welcomes crowd-friendly dogs on leash. If your four-legged friends get thirsty, there’s plenty of fresh, free water on-hand, for dogs and their humans, thanks to Kāpiti Pure Water. You can also stop by and see the teams at The Foxy Dawg Co or The Cats & Dog Dinner Company – not only do they sell dog products, they’ll have bowls of water for your pooch…and plenty of cuddles and treats too!

“Don’t forget to pack a hat and put on plenty of SPF,” added Helene. “We encourage everyone to bring these items with them, but if you forget to apply sunscreen ahead of time, we have complimentary sunscreen on hand in the central zone of the Fair site map.”

“We also have vendors selling hats, too,” continued Jeanine. “So, if you need something to cover your face while you’re resting on the grass having your picnic lunch, they can help.”

Another item to add to your list for Fair day is your picnic blanket. With the Fair being held at Mazengarb Reserve, there’s plenty of green space for everyone to spread out and rest while enjoying the community vibe and sharing your tasty treats with your friends and whānau. If a picnic under the sun isn’t your thing, there will be plenty of shade too, with tables, chairs, and shade sails dotted around the Fair with a large Dining Hall area set up under a stretch tent.

Don’t forget to swing by the Tuatara Bar & Stage for a pint of Kāpiti’s Finest at the Fair, our very own micro-brewed beer made just for us by Tuatara Brewing. Their menu will also include local favs, cocktails in a can produced by The Bond Store and Elemental Cider. The Bar will serve from 10am to 4pm with the last serve being at 3.30pm – children are welcome as long as they are with their parents or guardian.

“And remember to bring cash and gold coins, too,” said Jeanine. “Parking is a gold coin donation once you enter Scaife Drive. We always recommend bringing some cash with you – most vendors have Eftpos, and some will do bank transfers on the day. However, if you get caught short, we operate an ATM cabin on-site near to the Pavilion Building, run by a team of volunteers from Kāpiti Rotary. There is a $1 transaction fee charged for each withdrawal.”

Disabled parking is located near Gate Entry 2 on the South side of the Pavilion Building. Let the parking attendants know as you arrive, and they will guide you to the right parking spot.

If you’re planning on coming using public transport, you’re in luck! The team have organised free bus shuttles departing every half hour, starting at 10:13 AM from the Paraparaumu Train Station to bring visitors right to the gates. The buses keep doing the circuit so you can jump back on the bus and head back to the train once you are ready to go home with all of your treasures. The full schedule for the free bus shuttles is as follows:

Departing the Station at: 10.13am, 10.43am, 11.13am, 11.43, 12.13pm, 12.43, 1.13pm, 1.43pm, 2.13pm, 2.43pm, 3.13pm.

Departing Mazengarb Reserve at: 10.43am, 11.13am, 11.43am, 12.13pm, 12.43pm, 1.13pm, 1.43pm, 2.13pm, 2.43pm, 3.13pm, 3.43pm.

If you are local, walk or ride your bike or catch the train from Waikanae or Paekākāriki and board the free bus shuttle. There are plenty of bollards and trees at the Mazengarb Reserve to padlock your bike.

St John will be on-site in the event they are needed for any emergency and the INFO Hub will operate all day to handle any visitor questions, manage lost property and run a free bag storage for those who don’t want to carry around heavy bags all day. Drop by and they will take care of things for you. The INFO Hub will also be selling our own Kāpiti Food Fair merchandise: $3 cotton shopping bags, $5 funky t-towels and $10 stylish aprons, great Christmas stocking fillers.

The Kāpiti Food Fair runs on Saturday December 2nd, 2023, at the Mazengarb Reserve, Paraparaumu, Kapiti Coast. OUTDOORS RAIN or SHINE. Entry from 10 AM to 4 PM. Tickets are $15 per adult, children up to 16 are FREE and those with a Gold Card or Student ID are only $10. Please note we have kept ticket prices static since before Covid which has been challenging in an inflationary environment with every budgeted expense escalating.

Book your tickets here >>


Kāpiti Food Fair was established in 2008 as a community event with humble beginnings. The Fair is now a privately owned and operated business partnership between Helene Judge and Jeanine van Kradenburg, who helped conceptualise the initial event.

Their mission is to bring visitors to Kāpiti for an enjoyable, indulgent, and satisfying day out with GOOD friends, GOOD times, GOOD food and GOOD music. Helene and Jeanine have turned Kāpiti Food Fair into a pop-up extravaganza calendar event that sees visitors returning year after year.

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