Festival here to stay

Last updated 10:26 21/01/2014

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St Arnaud basked in sunlight and moonlight for the third annual Festival Nelson Lakes at the weekend.

More than 1000 people attended the two-day event, which featured market stalls, workshops, airplane rides and entertainment, including an outdoor evening movie beside Lake Rotoiti.

Destination Nelson Lakes secretary Helen Campbell said the event had been granted a 10-year concession by the Department of Conservation, meaning it was now a fixture for the next decade.

Committee member Jan Thomson said it was an "amazing" festival, with perfect weather both days and a big, happy crowd.

There were talks on subjects as diverse as beekeeping, flax weaving, cooking rabbits and possums, breadmaking, hot smoking, living off the grid, mountain safety, endangered plants, pest trapping programmes, classic cars, training dogs, and building a moneyless economy.

It was a successful fundraiser for the Kea Conservation Trust and the Lake Rotoiti School pool fund, and celebrated a century of motoring to the lake, she said.

A fleet of classic and vintage cars helped to mark the occasion. Ms Campbell said the arrival of the first vehicle 100 years ago was a "really special event".

"They came here because it was so wonderful. The early surveyors called [the Nelson Lakes area] a gem." Fairfax NZ

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- The Marlborough Express

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