Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Napier Art Deco Festival

Napier Art Deco Festival
Feb 2019

Napier is famed for its Art Deco style of buildings, which came about due to a massive reconstruction effort following a massive earthquake back in the 1930's. As a result the while town looks like something out of a period drama. I was quite surprised no to meet David Suchet in a cafe!

The town has taken its Art Deco persona to its heart and every year in mid February the town transforms itself into a living breathing Art Deco experience. We knew about the festival and a change on our plan meant that we could visit on the Sunday of the 2019 event.

The town was heaving but we managed to find a pitch in a somewhat sub standard camp site, but at least it put us close to the action. 

The site was full of vintage Indian Motorcycles who had been parading on the Saturday and many campers were decked out in period attire.

We made an effort with shirt and dress and got a taxi into town - not sure what to expect.

In the event the place was quite magical. There were period gazebo's everywhere on the sea front Marine Parade to which groups would retire for elegant picnics at lunchtime, but not before the legendary go cart derby.  This is an annual fixture with the most amazing engineering creations being raced down Emerson Street, with crowds lining the pavements and cheering the young participants on.

Then there were the street performers, classic cars and live period music but most of all the event is all about people watching, there to see and be seen. It is one of the very few events where taking photos of strangers is positively encouraged.

Napier is lively in its own Art Deco way, but add thousands of enthusiastic participants during the Art Deco Weekend and you have a complete theatrical experience.

All this kind of made up for a camp site with few facilities, no wi fi and with one of the islands main roads being just over the fence!

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