Shakespeare at thyme festival

Rain showers during Alexandra Thyme Festival events yesterday fitted in nicely with the theme of "cherishing our environment", Central Otago Mayor Tony Lepper said.

"We need rain to make things more sustainable ... and to make my garden grow," Mr Lepper told about 60 people who attended the festival opening last night.

The festival was "well and truly established" on the district's calendar of events and there was a vast range of activities planned for the week, which attracted visitors into the area, he said.

Mr Lepper is hosting one of the activities, a workshop titled "Cooking with the Mayor" where he will share ideas for cooking venison.

Festival committee member and Vincent Community Board chairwoman Clair Higginson said sustainability and keeping a balance were the main themes of the week.

Activities during the festival range from arts, music, cooking and decorating workshops and recycling clothes and jewellery through to tours of goldmining sites, rock-climbing and a contest that involves making a "superhero" out of recycled material.

One of the new events this year was Bard in the Park, during which about 18 members of the Shakespeare in the Park Charitable Trust, from Invercargill, shared excerpts from Shakespeare's 's works.

The performances were held in Jolendale Park yesterday and although it rained, the event was received well.

Trustee Angela Newell said it was a great setting and the actors enjoyed being in a different environment.

The thyme festival finishes in Pioneer Park on Sunday with a market day, children's talent quest and community garage sale.