By SHELLEY TOPP
A decision to link key Kaiapoi winter events with the Waimakariri Winter Festival has been a winner for the town.
Large crowds turned out for the Kaiapoi Art Expo at the Kaiapoi Club at the weekend, and for the Blackwells Fire and Ice Night Market Festival, with Victor Cagayat’s ice sculpting followed by the night market.
The Kaiapoi Lantern Festival, organised by You Me We Us, also added colour and fun.
The art expo was organised by the Waimakariri Art Trust and the chairman, Dan Gordon, said this year’s event was the most successful yet.
“We are very pleased to have had such a large number of visitors attend over the weekend. We estimate we had around 5000 people through over the weekend – a great result for the artists who had the opportunity for their creative talent to be appreciated, and further congratulations to all who achieved sales,” he said.
This year, 107 artists exhibited 675 artworks and art sales were just under $46,000 – up $5000 on last year’s record.
The guest artist was Joel Hart, of Christchurch, and Kaiapoi artist Christine Watton’s Wildflowers 111 painting won the People’s Choice Award.
The night market festival also had a record crowd. “The town was really busy. We had our biggest crowd ever for Victor Cagayat’s ice sculpting,” Andrew Blackwell said.
“And we also had a really busy night market. All the stall-holders were pretty happy.
“The lanterns looked really good around the town, too. We had a lot of comment about those.”
He thought linking up with the Waimakariri Winter Festival promotion had been a good move.
Blackwells is one of many Waimakariri businesses taking part in the winter festival’s Great Waimak Winter Sale, from July 13-21.
Anyone spending money at participating businesses goes in the draw to win $1500 at the main festival day in Rangiora this Saturday.