Cameron Marriott (4) enjoys a ride on the merry-go-round at
the South Dunedin Street Festival on Saturday. Photo by Dan
The South Dunedin Street Festival is to become an annual
event after thousands of people turned out on Saturday to
celebrate the completion of the area's Dunedin City Council
South Dunedin Business Association chairwoman Jane Orbell
said she wanted to "put my head under the blankets" when she
got up on Saturday morning and saw the rain.
Fortunately, she resisted the temptation because the precinct
basked in sunshine for the rest of the morning.
Even when an icy squall sliced across the city in the early
afternoon, plenty of people stuck it out and carried on
"There were ice balls coming down at one stage but people
seemed to stick it out. They took cover in the shops and
under the eaves and then came back out again."
She said a huge amount of "backstage" work was done by people
who did a lot of horrible jobs like cleaning the windows of
"I had tears, I really got quite emotional. Everyone had a
great time - lots of people in the shops and a lot of people
who had come into South Dunedin from other parts of the
The festival celebrates the end of a major upgrade of the
shopping precinct by the Dunedin City Council, that includes
landscaping, new parks and subsidies for painting shops.
Mrs Orbell said the area had been a "very harsh environment"
to trade in at times in the past, but there were far fewer
empty shops now and she knew there were other people "lurking
out there" waiting for suitable premises to become available.
She promised the festival would be bigger and better next
year with more stalls and entertainment.