The ninth Pub Charity Picton Maritime Festival was another hit, with crowds filling the Picton Foreshore from morning to night.
Children loved the Pirate Island Under the Sea tent, which had face painting, arts and craft, spot prizes, games and a conservation corner.
Conservation Kids New Zealand founder Tash Luxton said the tent had been buzzing all day, with children making collages and learning about conservation and Kaipupu Point. "It's been a real team feel in here."
The whole festival was an amazing showcase for Picton, she said.
"You feel pretty proud that a little town can pull this off. Our little town is pumping."
Families were greeted with market stalls, food, craft and entertainment and activities all day, before the fireworks were let off from a barge in the harbour at 10pm.
A highlight for the morning had been the novelty raft races, event manager and chairwoman Beryl Bowers said.
Race organiser David Collins, of Picton, said a highlight was a bride on her hen's do who had not known she was entered in the race until her bridesmaids broke the news just minutes before.
"They came last in their heat but they had fun," Mr Collins said.
Mrs Bowers and Mr Collins agreed that the crowds on Saturday had been better and more consistent than any other year.
"Everybody's just pitching in, it's fabulous to see the foreshore being used . . . it's an excellent turnout, better than other years," Mrs Bowers said.
Gina Hunter travelled to Picton from Blenheim for the festival and was enjoying the on-stage entertainment with her family, and some family friends.
"It's been a fantastic day, really really good . . . I don't think you could pinpoint [a highlight], it's the balance, the family entertainment, the kids' entertainment and it's inexpensive which is really cool," she said.
The hot sun kept ice cream stalls busy, with real fruit ice cream stall owner Josh McKay saying work had been "mental", with non-stop lines all day.
Free rides in clinker boats on the harbour had also been popular with families as were the bouncy castles and market stalls.
- The Marlborough Express
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