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Spring Fling dishes out welcomed boost

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Central Hawke’s Bay has received a welcomed economic and morale boost post-Cyclone Gabrielle with its iconic Spring Fling attracting a record number of sold-out events this year.

This year's festival, which started with the Spring Market in Waipukurau on 2 September and finished with the iconic Picnic in the Peonies on Sunday, offered the most events in Spring Fling history with 20 events available for festival goers. 

The influx into the Central Hawke's Bay economy directly benefits local businesses, accommodation providers, retailers, and organisations that have felt huge impacts over the last few years from the pandemic and ongoing weather events.

Central Hawke's Bay District Council Mayor Alex Walker said after what felt like a never-ending run of excessive rain, the district was well and truly ready to welcome visitors back to Central Hawke's Bay.

"The Spring Fling has been a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors, enjoy some sunshine, and celebrate our district. The event helps to create wider benefits for our local businesses as people stop and shop and enjoy what our district has to offer. We're looking forward to welcoming more visitors this summer."

There were 1500 tickets available to an array of events, including iconic events such as the Homestead Tours, the Bon Vivant, a taste sensation at Wallingford, and Taniwha Daffodils, which again opened their gates to hundreds of visitors despite wet conditions hampering the daffodil blooms and shortening the season.

Organiser of a calendar highlight, Waipawa Spring Festival - Duck Day, Mark Drake said this year's family-friendly event epitomised community unity.

"The event was very well supported by the community and local businesses with a record number of corporate duck entries. The sun was out, the ground was dry and Nelly Jull Park was brimming with families enjoying themselves."

Another returning favourite, the Ōmakere Coastal Hill Country Walk attracted over 250 walkers and raised thousands in ticket sales for the Ōmakere School Community and Association (OSCA) to run the school bus and support other school projects.

Treasurer of the Association, Jeanie Butler said, "Participants travelled south enjoying views of Cape Turnagain, homemade lunch, country hospitality, marshalls on horseback, and a challenging scenic walk. This event fails to deliver and everyone loves the experiences on offer."

Central Hawke's Bay District Council is planning its summer campaign to welcome visitors with the message that the district is open and ready to showcase everything that is on offer.

13 November 2023

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