If you haven't been out to Katikati this month, now is your chance to explore and enjoy a fascinating array of art and entertainment as part of the Katikati Festival of Arts.
With events on until the end of the month and available to view at www.katikatifestivalofarts.org.nz, the ultimate arts festival has already received lots of positive feedback, says Katch Katikati Promotions Manager Jacqui Knight.
"Feedback has been really positive from the activities and displays we have been able to host during the festival," says Jacqui.
"The giant flowers decorated by the local preschools have been very popular – they are on display at the Katikati Library. People are amazed by the detail in the Matahui School flower and also tickled pink by the free sunflower seeds included in the flower made by Learning Adventures Katikati."
Another popular installation is the giant inflatable lit up mushrooms, located at Diggelmann Park. On display until Friday 22nd October, Jacqui says they have been a major highlight of the event and encourages everyone to check them out.
"These have probably bought the most joy to people's faces. They are amazing to see both day and night. Neighbours have commented about how great it is to see families enjoying the installation, and cars are stopping continuously to check them out."
A sell-out event has been the skate deck painting workshops, which Jacqui notes have been reaching a different demographic in the community that perhaps would not otherwise engage.
"These workshops are free to attend, and you get to keep your deck afterwards. However, they are on display for a week at the Western Bay Museum from the 18th – 26th October."
Another display is the Kati Poles, painted totem poles that are currently exhibited at the Arts Junction. These are under silent auction, which closes on 30th October at 2 pm. There are 25 poles with fantastic original work by local artists.
The Katikati Theatre production 'Overloaded' is a locally written play with productions from the 19th – 24th October. The must-see play brings to life the mural 'Overload', taking audiences on the perilous ride in the Hudson service car driven by Les Hume from Katikati to Waihi in 1925.
Jacqui explains that although it was a bit disappointing that many of the planned activities and events have been postponed until April 2022 due to the lockdown, organisers felt it was important to still provide something for the community that can be enjoyed while still adhering to Covid level requirements.
"Everyone needs a bit of a lift at the moment, and the number of people still participating reflects that. We were really fortunate that we could still do the exhibitions and displays. Arts always bring the community together and uplifts peoples spirits.
"We have a number of events postponed until April next year. The April 2022 event will be shorter, probably five days, and action-packed.
"The NZ Mural Competition will be held, also lantern making workshops and a lantern parade. There will be an outdoor concert, market day, street entertainers, and many of the other events that we have had to move. So, there is still lots for our community to look forward to and we can't wait to bring these all back next year."
The festival has been supported by TECT funding of $15,000. The local trust has confirmed its funding will be not only supporting the festival this month, but will help bring the artistic celebrations back to life next year with the postponed events.
"Knowing that we still have TECT funding for the second part of the festival is hugely reassuring," says Jacqui. "Budgets are always the hardest part of the event, and we are in a position to move forward comfortably thanks to TECT's support."
TECT Trustee Tina Jennen says TECT is proud to have supported the festival since 2011.
"It is the perfect event for our very own Mural Town, bringing visitors from across the region to check out the artistic displays, enjoy the performances and take part in the workshops.
"There truly is something for everyone, and that is why we have been such a long-time supporter. It is bringing our community together, encouraging people to engage in arts and social activities that ultimately improve wellbeing.
"We are so pleased the festival has been able to continue despite the challenges of lockdown. A big thank you to the Katikati Open Air Art team and all the other local groups involved for putting in the mahi to make it work – we are lucky to have you in our community helping bring some excitement and joy to lives during this difficult time."