New Year events get positive feedback

HAMISH CARDWELL
Last updated 07:56 01/02/2013

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A council committee wants to give Go Marlborough the go-ahead to run its Ignite Marlborough New Year events in Picton and Blenheim for the next three years.

Go Marlborough organiser Duncan Mackenzie gave a report to the community and financial planning committee at the Marlborough District Council chambers yesterday.

The council committee agreed the current format of the events should be retained and Go Marlborough should manage the events for 2013, 2014 and 2015, subject to Port Marlborough confirming its commitment to sponsorship.

Port Marlborough has said it won't commit until a debrief is held early this month, but Mr Mackenzie said early indications from it were positive.

The events are sponsored by the council and Port Marlborough ($23,000 each) and in-kind sponsorship ($22,100).

The full council will consider the committee's recommendation on February 28.

Mr Mackenzie said both events went very well. About 15,000 people enjoyed music and fireworks at an "absolutely marvellous evening" in Picton, and about 2500 people attended the Blenheim event, hosted by the Blenheim Country Music Club.

"The events worked well, taking advantage of an array of great local talent and excellent weather conditions to attract and entertain thousands of locals and visitors alike." The success of the events was a "real credit to the skill and talent base available here in Marlborough".

The highlight was the positive response to the array of local talent on show at both venues.

Cr Terry Sloan said he had heard some complaints from people who wanted a fireworks display at the public New Year party in Blenheim too, as well as a greater variety of music at the events.

However, Mr Mackenzie said a 50/50 balance between the two events would reduce the spectacle of the Picton celebration, which was a destination event drawing tourists and people from throughout the region.

This had positive economic affects for the region as a whole.

A wider variety of music and a second fireworks display would come at a cost, and there were also risks involved in hosting a fireworks display in Blenheim, he said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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