Record crowd drinks in wine and food festival

SIENA YATES
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2013
KICKING BACK: Sue Lomas, Pauline Sinel, and Sandra Groupsky soak in the atmosphere at the Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival. This year the event was held for the first time at Claudelands Event Centre.
Fairfax NZ

KICKING BACK: Sue Lomas, Pauline Sinel, and Sandra Groupsky soak in the atmosphere at the Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival. This year the event was held for the first time at Claudelands Event Centre.

Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival
Mark Taylor/FAIRFAX NZ Zoom
Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival.

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The sun was shining and the good times were flowing almost as freely as the wine with a record crowd flocking to the Waikato Times Food and Wine Festival at the weekend.

This year's festival saw more people through on the first day alone, than last year's saw over the whole weekend.

And it's little wonder, with more exhibitors, an impressive line-up of jazz, blues, and soul musicians, a special ‘back by popular demand' appearance from boogie pianist Jan Preston and a visit from Hamilton's own MasterChef, Josh Emett.

Festival organiser and Waikato Times marketing manager Bernadette Kirkham said it was a great turnout and an "absolutely fantastic event".

It was a relief after concerns over moving the event from Hamilton Gardens, where it has been for the past three years, to Claudelands Event Centre.

"It was quite a risk to move it after three successful years there, but it's actually gone really well. We were a bit worried because it's a big weekend in the Waikato with the cricket and other events on," she said.

"But in the end we had exhibitors running out of food and wine. Everyone's having a good time, it's been exhausting but it's been a lot of fun."

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