Fire and ice warms up Kaiapoi

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Blackwell’s Department Store delivered an extravaganza of fire and ice to Kaiapoi last Saturday.
The store’s ‘‘Lighting Up Winter’’ festival was held in conjunction with their sponsorship of the annual Kaiapoi Art Expo and attracted big crowds.
They came first to watch Auckland ice sculptor Victor Cagayat work his magic in the carpark at the back of Blackwell’s store, then later to the night market where fire poi dancers put on a spectacular show and DrSanchez played Latin guitar fast and furious.
Victor began work at 1pm, chipping, cutting and chiselling his way through huge blocks of ice transported to Kaiapoi from Auckland for the event. Toiling away in the unseasonably warm nor’wester, with temperatures reaching 22deg, he made four sculptures, a horse’s head, a princess, a Darth Vader lookalike and two doves sitting above a heart.
It was a return visit to Kaiapoi for Victor who also did a popular demonstration of ice sculpting outside Blackwell’s store last year during the Art Expo.
Tracy Thompson, one of the event’s organisers, said the sculptures melted much quicker this year because of the warm weather but were still looking stunning for the night market which began at 6pm and finished at 8pm.
‘‘It was a fantastic atmosphere at the night market with about 500 revellers turning up to enjoy the event.
‘‘The ice sculptures looked really beautiful all lit up at night,’’ she said.
‘‘The fire poi artists were amazing and as the balls of fire went up into the sky the sounds of Dr Sanchez playing beautiful upbeat Latin guitar music was there to accompany the visual spectacle.’’
The food stalls were a hit with all selling out, and there was also mulled wine available on the night.
‘‘The atmosphere was magical and festive and many many people asked if it was going to happen again next year,’’ Tracy said.
The Blackwell family were thrilled with the support they received for the event and pleased they were able to offer something fun and festive for the community to enjoy, she said.