Porirua kissed goodbye to summer today with its annual health extravaganza Creekfest.
The smell of sunscreen, hot dogs and freshly-cut grass wafted over 5000 people gathered at Cannons Creek Park for the event. Live rap music dominated the festival's main stage, while an open-air aerobics class drew crowds with its upbeat tunes.
"Beautiful. It's a great day for kids, great for families," Ascot Park man Selwyn Waititi said.
His daughter Phoebe Grace, 2, got stuck into all Creekfest had to offer, trying out the bouncy castle and a flying chair ride, and bopping on the grass.
"She loves music, so we were down by the stage having a bit of a dance," Mr Waititi said.
Creekfest, in its 11th year, is smoke-free, fizzy-drink free, and celebrates healthy living. Health sector stalls far outnumbered food stalls, promoting heart checks, sore throat checks for rheumatic fever and diabetes tests. Games of flag rugby were being played on the top field while local Mormon volunteers were on hand to assist and direct festivalgoers.
Cannons Creek schoolgirl Mary-Jane Baker, 10, said she learned to brush her teeth "twice as nice" today. She may do well to heed that advice, because her top treat from the fair was a toffee apple. Mary-Jane said music act Anastasia was her favourite, and was considering singing a Justin Bieber or Jason Derulo number at the Creekfest Idol stage.
Mua Lopa, a volunteer from the Tokelau church Pahina in Ranui, was manning a fundraising hot food stand for her youth group. By noon she had sold 200 hot dogs and half a 30-litre vat of chop suey.
"They want hot Island food," she said.
- The Dominion Post
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