Cheers to a good time at the harbour

Soaking up the sun and atmosphere at the Cheers to Beers and Wine Festival at Oamaru Harbour on...
Soaking up the sun and atmosphere at the Cheers to Beers and Wine Festival at Oamaru Harbour on Saturday are Harbour Street Jazz and Blues Festival committee members (from left) Jae Bedford, Jane Campbell, Garth Green and Lucianne White. PHOTO: HAMISH MACLEAN
Beer, wine, good music, and plenty of sunshine - all the necessary ingredients came together for the inaugural Cheers to Beers and Wine Festival at Oamaru Harbour on Saturday.

Harbour Street Jazz and Blues Festival chairwoman Jane Campbell said with more than 300 people coming through the gates at the Waterfront Rd reserve, things were looking up for next month's music festival.

"It's a lovely day," she said. "We've worked really hard this year."

In order for the majority of the 48 shows at the jazz and blues festival to remain free entry and for the festival committee to continue to pay the musicians, along with fashion parades at Whitestone City, the beer and wine festival and the funds raised through ticket sales at the weekend would help to make the 7-year-old festival a continued success.

The group, winner of the supreme award at the 2017 Waitaki District Community Awards, had big plans, member Lucianne White said.

The 10-member committee believed in the community benefits the music festival brought to the district and was in the first year of a five-year strategic plan to make it "the destination event" for New Zealand jazz lovers.

Twenty stalls featured Waitaki Valley wines and South Island craft beer at the harbour reserve, Impressive Events event director Rory Foley said.

He said 400 tickets were sold to the beer and wine festival. By 1pm, 320 had been scanned at the gate.

The Harbour Street Jazz and Blues Festival opens on March 22 at the Brydone Hotel with Paul Ubana-Jones and the Stevie Rice Band, and runs through to March 24, when The Lady Killers play the grand finale at the Loan and Merc.

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