Kāpiti Food Fair 2023 And NEW Night Gig: That’s A Wrap!
Kāpiti Coast, Wellington, New Zealand, December 11th, 2023: This year, the Kāpiti Food Fair welcomed over 11,000 visitors through the gates of Mazengarb Reserve on Saturday 2 December for an epic day out, and then another 1,000 concert goers for their first ever Night Gig with headline act Tami Neilson! It was an amazing year of planning happiness, and a gorgeous day being served up on the beautiful Kāpiti Coast.
Visitors indulged in food, drinks, and entertainment on the Tuatara Stage: Miss Tui who also stepped up to perform the opening powhiri before her set, followed by The Caramello Blues Band, Devon Welch Music, and Fleetwood Mac Tribute wooing the crowd at the end of the day.
When evening came, and after a quick turnaround by the crew, it was time for our first ever Night Gig to begin! Local act, Jodie and The Stowaways took to the Tuatara Stage putting on a fabulous warm-up show to get everyone ready for the incomparable Tami Neilson from 8.45pm.
During the day, the We Love Local Kāpiti Kitchen Stage had a line-up of amazing local talent sharing their inspirational tips and recipes: Fiona Greig of Sunday Cantina, Justine Street of Good Bitches Baking, and El Robbins & Jack Rainey from Everybody Eats Wellington with Kaibosh Kāpiti. Young rangatahi musical talent and super awesome buskers and aerial circus performers executed wonderful shows in the ZEAL Zone all day long!
The crowd was full of locals and visitors who came from all round the motu – all dedicated foodies who came out to show their love of the community and food. Our Site Map saw 220+ vendors on view, with a wide range of ready to eat offerings serving from under gazebo or food trailers, and packaged products galore to take home including a vibrant off licence Liquor Zone. We were pleased that 32% of vendors were from Kāpiti and overall 59% of vendors offered packaged food and beverage products, and 41% were ready to eat foods.
Vendor registration for the 2024 Kāpiti Food Fair will open in April 2024. Vendors are urged to book early to avoid disappointment.
“It takes a village, and we had the best one doing important jobs at the Fair,” shared Helene Judge. “We can always count on Kāpiti Rotary to help with our set-up and pack-down, the ATM and parking; the No 49 Squadron Air Cadets are our waste busters; the Paraparaumu College Borneo World Challenge helped with set-up and collecting gold coin parking donations; Work Ready Kāpiti and Paraparaumu Boys were magnificent ticket scanners; and ANZ Paraparaumu who operated our Ticket Office, day and night. In addition, Organic Wealth operated a highly effective on-site waste depot at the Fair and at this point they know their 90% target of diverting waste from landfill has been met with a detailed report arriving very soon.”
“We’re grateful to everyone who worked alongside Jeanine and myself, including our Sponsors and the Kāpiti Major Events Fund, to make a beautiful day AND night to remember,” Helene continued. “Special mention goes to our tireless warrior crew. The workload is intense as you lead into an event of our scale, and they undertake many unseen jobs that glue everything together on the day.”
“It’s been a mammoth year running two events in one day,” added Jeanine van Kradenburg. “We wanted to show New Zealand what we can do here on the Kāpiti Coast. The anticipation of an outdoor concert to rock the Mazengarb Reserve in celebration of musical talent in Aotearoa was exciting for Helene and I. Our only wish is that more local people purchased tickets and came out to play. Sadly, this did not happen, so we are now running a tight rope to manage a financial shortfall. Despite the Fair making a little money, it is not enough to cover everyone we owe so we are talking with others to help us wrap this year. We are thinking ahead to 2024 yet with a different lens at this time. For now, we are looking forward to a rest over the holidays. Please NOTE Saturday 30 November 2024 on your calendars!”
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.