Crowd braves the elements

MEGAN MILLER
Last updated 05:00 27/12/2012
phil doublet
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ
HOT LICKS: Guitarist Phil Doublet took the stage as part of the concert on the first day of the Caroline Bay Carnival.

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The 2012 Caroline Bay Carnival opened on a chilly day with drizzling rain, but that didn't stop South Cantabrians and visitors from enjoying the festivities.

Deputy mayor Richard Lyon opened the event at 1.3opm, followed by a concert featuring country singer Kaylee Bell, originally of Waimate, and guitarist Phil Doublet who plays with local band The Ranchsliders.

The touring Dutch Nightingales Choir, an ensemble of children and young people, were also scheduled to perform.

Leonie Dwyer, of Fairlie, said the concerts are what draws her to the carnival each year. This year she braved the bad weather with her family, including her daughter, Helen Stevens, who was visiting from Queenstown.

"It's not the nicest day for it," she said, "but we're enjoying it nevertheless."

Paul and Alison Dickson, of Levels, said they'd ventured out to enjoy the carnival with family up visiting from a station in Southland.

"We wanted to take our wee grandson to his first carnival," Mr Dickson said, waiting at the carousel.

"This is such a good thing to have in Timaru. Hopefully the attendance will build over the next few days as the weather improves."

Neisha Hogg, of Timaru, sat on a bench near the food trucks with her 5-year-old twin granddaughters enjoying a cup of hot chips. Shakira said her favourite thing at the carnival was the boats, while Sharnika preferred the carousel.

"We come out here every year," Mrs Hogg said.

The weather also didn't co-operate for last night's concert, but according to the MetService forecast, the coming days should be more carnival-friendly.

Caroline Bay Association president Kevin Ancell said the wet weather was a disappointment, causing low attendance at the evening concert and all the games and rides to close up about an hour early. But he said carnival operations ran smoothly throughout the day.

"The combination of the two artists we had today drew a good crowd for the afternoon concert, despite the weather," he said.

"Hopefully by New Year's Eve we'll have some good weather. We're hoping to pick up then on the attendance we miss out on earlier."

The carnival continues today with musical performances by Chet O'Connell and Shane Cortese and rides and games operating through the afternoon and evening.

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- The Timaru Herald

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