The new Ahuriri Street Festival is a welcome addition to what's shaping to be a chocker December calendar for Napier families.
Two of Ahuriri’s main streets will be empty of vehicles for a few hours on Sunday 10 December in order to host an event that’s fun, family friendly and best of all – free.
The Ahuriri Street Festival, presented by iWay, will run between 10am and 2pm, and will feature live music, games, activities and other fun on-street entertainment, such as face painting, street art, and a bouncy castle. There are also some great prizes up for grabs in the Dress Your Bike competition, for adults and children, and a kids’ fishing competition, organised by The Hits.
The festival is supported by Bridge Street and West Quay businesses, and the Ahuriri Business Association.
“Closing off these streets gives us a chance to experience what it’s like to move around a vehicle-free space in an urban environment. I hope lots of people will leave their cars at home and try walking or cycling to the festival,” says Lyndal Johansson, Walking and Cycling Coordinator for Sport Hawke’s Bay and Festival co-coordinator.
Lyndal Johansson: "Closing off these streets gives us a chance to experience what it’s like to move around a vehicle-free space in an urban environment. I hope lots of people will leave their cars at home and try walking or cycling to the festival."
For those who do need to bring a car, extra car parking will be provided at Perfume Point.
Open street festivals are run successfully around the world. They have only been held twice in two other cities in New Zealand – Auckland and Christchurch. “We’d love it if people showed their support for the festival, and let us know if they want it to be a regular occurrence, either in Ahuriri or elsewhere in Napier,” says Lyndal.
The Ahuriri Street Festival has been inspired by the Open Streets project in America. Bogota, Colombia, the first city to hold an open street type event in the 1970s, still closes 20-plus kilometres of roads each Sunday to encourage people to cycle or walk through the central city area.
Hastings District Council initiated iWay, then called a Model Communities project, in 2010. NCC joined iWay in 2015, following a successful joint Hastings District and NCC application for Urban Cycleway Programme funding from central Government. Both Councils contribute financially to iWay, along with the New Zealand Transport Agency.
iWay’s long term goal is to create the most extensive urban cycle network in regional New Zealand. For more information, go to www.iway.org.nz or visit www.facebook.com/loveiway. NB: If the festival has to be cancelled because of bad weather, please visit the iWay Facebook page for information.
24 November 2017
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