Spring Fling is a spring success
PA MAI TO REO
Central Hawke’s Bay Spring Fling has been dubbed a “fantastic success” with 11 events running across eight weeks and 68 per cent of tickets sold to visitors from out of the district. Despite Covid-19 dampening the opening week of the festival, more than 500 tickets were purchased across seven ticketed events, with five events selling out entirely. Crowds also attended the four free events that were able to operate within alert level 2 restrictions. The events line up drew visitors from other regions, with 44 per cent of ticket holders coming from the wider Hawke’s Bay region (not including Central Hawke’s Bay) and another 25 per cent from all corners of the North Island, including some from as far afield as Whangārei. Sold out events included all four Gwavas Gardens and Homestead Tours, the Central Hawke’s Bay Homestead Trail, both Garden to Vase workshops at Aramoana Homestead, All Things Herbs Masterclass at Mangarara Eco Lodge and Picnic at the Peonies in Tikokino Peonies. While several of the festival’s larger events were unable to go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions, including Waipawa’s annual Duck Day and Dinner in the Daffodils, others such as the Hatuma Marathon, were able to pivot and run in an adapted format instead. Central Hawke’s Bay mayor Alex Walker says she was delighted to see the district bustling with events. “I absolutely loved seeing Spring Fling come to life this year and was lucky enough to attend a few of the events myself. In the face of some really difficult times, Spring Fling was an opportunity for us to not only celebrate our beautiful district, but get together with our whānau, friends and neighbours to enjoy each other’s company.” The 2021 programme was a true taste of Central Hawke’s Bay at springtime, said Hawke’s Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton. “Despite Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s festival was a fantastic success. With seven new events and a spectacular line up of charming homesteads, stunning gardens, arts, crafts, food and wine, it’s no wonder New Zealanders chose to discover the gems of Central Hawke’s Bay. This year’s festival programme was a true testament to the beauty of the district, and we were thrilled to see visitors embrace this very special part of our region,” says Saxton. The Spring Fling is an initiative of Hawke’s Bay Tourism and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council to invite visitors to the district.