Stroll back into optimistic days

00:32, Feb 20 2013
Southland Times photo
Ranfurly Art Deco Festival event organiser Martin McPherson gives his art deco cocktail shaker a trial run.

Dust off those striped blazers, straw boater hats and flapper costumes - it's time to celebrate Art Deco.

About 2000 people are expected to converge on Ranfurly this weekend to mark the town's annual homage to the historic design style.

The festival, in its 13th year, celebrates the town's distinctive architecture after parts of it needed to be rebuilt because of a series of fires in the 1930s.

Event organiser Martin McPherson, a sporadic collector of art deco items, said as well as all-day entertainment being held as part of the festival throughout the day and night on Saturday, a cabaret on Friday night would be an evening to dress up and go back in time to celebrate the "post-war time optimism" of the era.

Those who attended the cabaret would be able to enjoy some gin-based cocktails and entertainment by Subject2Change.

Saturday's events include a grand parade at 12.30, car-boot sales, markets, children's activities and street performances.


Several art deco dealers would be in town and a "pop-up" art deco store would be open for those looking to grab a bargain and take a part of the memorabilia home.

"Art deco was bright, clean lines and industrial, and it was the first era to use those designs. It was very modern for its time," Mr McPherson said.

Since then it had grabbed the attention of designers and was still being implemented in designs today, he said.

Fast facts: What: Ranfurly Art Deco Festival Cabaret Where: Maniototo Stadium – cocktails in the Art Deco Bar at Ranfurly Hotel When: Friday, 7.30pm How much: $45, available from Central Otago i-SITEs. Supper included What: Ranfurly Art Deco Festival Saturday entertainment Where: Ranfurly town centre When: Saturday from 9am How much: $5 for adults and gold coin for children

The Mirror