Womad fans a bunch of happy campers
Thousands of people camping at New Plymouth's Pukekura Raceway over the weekend weren't about to let a cyclone spoil their fun.
The racecourse was home for about 2500 people in town for Womad and the venue was crammed full of buses, tents and campervans of all shapes and sizes.
Cyclone Lusi's threatened gale force winds and heavy rain failed to eventuate, although there was showers and strong winds, and everybody enjoyed themselves.
Mike Lucas, of Wellington, was enjoying his first Womad experience and loved it.
"It was brilliant, really well run and really family-friendly," Mr Lucas told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.
"Taranaki has done a really fantastic job."
Mr Lucas said the weather was not a problem.
"We are from Wellington, this is just a breeze," he joked.
Brendon Veale said he had attended Womad events around the world and was impressed with New Plymouth's.
"It's been great, it's really nice not having to queue for the loos and you've got decent showers," Mr Veale said.
Flynn Lucas, 9, said there were heaps of activities to keep him entertained.
French tourist Nico Richard said he had concerns about the cyclone but was stoked it didn't get too bad.
"Everything was perfect. I was expecting the worst but it's nice," Mr Richard said.
He was having such a good time he had extended his stay.
"We were only going to stay Friday but then Friday wasn't enough so we stayed Saturday as well."
Taranaki Arts Festival Trust chief executive Suzanne Porter was pleased the forecast bad weather hadn't spoilt things.
"Yesterday was actually really good in the end, we had sunshine and the weather wasn't bad at all," Ms Porter said.
She said a stand at the racecourse had been opened up in case the heavy rain arrived but it wasn't needed.
"Very few people chose to sleep inside the stand last night, most chose to camp. We've been very lucky."
Taranaki Daily News