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Kai Fest team prepares for repeat performance

May 19th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

Work has begun on planning next year's Motueka Kai Fest, starting with a new trust being officially formed to carry on and expand the project.

This year's inaugural event, held on April 9th on Decks Reserve, was hailed a huge success by most of the people attending, but the planning team are sure it can be even better after learning from the first experience.

The Kai Fest Trust has been established with the six trustees all part of the team which put together the successful 2017 event.

The first Kai Fest was run under the umbrella and guidance of Vision Motueka, which has agreed to pass it on to a group wishing to run it every year.

Chair of the new trust, Petra Stephenson, says with so much work involved in event planning and memories of the April celebration still fresh, it's time to get back to organising an even better Kai Fest on April 8th 2018.

A public thank-you evening will be held on Friday, June 9th, at Community House starting at 7 p.m. It will be open to anyone and everyone who had anything to do with planning the 2017 event, volunteering on the day or helping in-kind.

The team would also love to see and meet others who were so inspired by the celebration that they would like to help in some way next year - with ideas and manpower.

The gathering will mainly be a celebration of what was achieved and remembering the experience, and a chance to offer further feedback, new ideas or help in planning. Or maybe just to come along and join in the fun.

"We learned a great deal from the first Kai Fest," Petra says. "Many aspects worked wonderfully well, but some need adjustment or a new approach.

"There are so many other possibilities. For instance, we need to make the parade and pageantry easier to view, and to get more food-related stalls and food industry participants involved.

"We also want to get community groups involved in assisting with parts of the event, such as decorating the stage, deliver hay bales for seating and take them away again that evening, or running food -related competitions.

"As the event becomes more established over time, there is the potential for a whole range of exciting and interesting activities that could take place not just at the venue itself but in the town over the whole weekend.

"If we can get together a good team of enthusiastic people and share the load, we have the opportunity to make the Kai Fest a real signature event for the town and for the District into the future."

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