Picton performers streets ahead

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 09:43 19/12/2012

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Nelson Square in Picton will be a-buzz with festive atmosphere this Saturday when the first ever Picton Performing Arts and Street Theatre Festival takes to the streets from 10am.

The driving force behind the showcase of performing art is actor and Picton Little Theatre manager Bruce Anderson, who, with Jugglers Rest Backpackers owner Nikki Henson, hopes to attract well over 1000 people to the event.

"One of the main aims is to promote Picton to tourists," Bruce said.

"When I last checked, most of the backpackers and motels are full for the weekend, so this is a great opportunity for the town."

Announcer on the day will be Picton Little Theatre creative director Kit Stevens, better known as "Mr Brown" - a character who has gained something of a celebrity status in Picton.

Talented New Zealand performers have been invited to perform, with magicians, jugglers, puppeteers, object manipulators and a musician set to entertain the crowd.

Most of the 12 performers booked for the festival attended a workshop at Jugglers Rest two months ago.

"The workshop was about teaching the performers how to move from being amateurs to professionals," Nikki said.

"We have kept in touch with all these performers and of course know many more from them staying at the backpackers."

Other than the performers there will also be stalls, a free children's puppet workshop by the Picton Puppet Theatre, and free circus skill workshops in stilts, hula, juggling, staff and poi.

The street theatre finishes at 6pm, but you can catch more entertaining performances by New Zealand's Got Talent finalists jugglers Zane & Degge at the Picton Little Theatre from 7.30pm.

Entry to the street theatre is free but tickets for the Zane & Degge show are $25 for Picton Little Theatre members and $30 for non-members.

The annual Koromiko Great Egg Race will be held during the street festival with 10 races planned, and $10 and a dozen Koromiko free range eggs as the prize for each race.

The races are being held in aid of Girl Guides. A raffle will also be held during the day.

"It should be a great day of really talented performers, family entertainment and fun, with a good festival atmosphere," Bruce said.

"We have to say a huge thank you to Sounds Air who have gotten behind us big-time and sponsored the whole event."

There are also plans to promote Picton through an information stand where passers-by can pick up information on the town and its businesses.

The festival organisers will also actively engage with the public to promote the town.

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"This is one of the best ways to market something - to talk to people who are there at the time and get them to come back again in the future."

- The Marlborough Express

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