Twizel festival showcases its best food and drink

The soulful tunes of Wanaka-based musician Tai Forrester and Cantabrian Brad Staley and his band were among the entertainers at the annual Twizel Salmon and Wine Festival last Saturday.

The 18th annual festival drew about 4500 people who lined the shore of Lake Ruataniwha to enjoy the four main stage acts that also included Nick and Dan and Black Sale House.

Festival attendee Maz O’Leary, of Kakahu Bush, said Forrester’s show was "epic."

Angela Millar, of Christchurch, said Staley and his band were "absolutely awesome" and the festival was "so much fun".

The revamped children’s area was buzzing as Dunedin event business Rainbow Rosalind Parties offered face painting and bouncy castles.

The team representing New Zealand at the prestigious biennial Bocuse d’Or Asia-Pacific culinary world championships showed off their skills to a sellout crowd.

Wineries, including Forrest Wine, Awatere River, Dunstan Road Wines and Wooing Tree, held tastings for the wine connoisseurs in the crowd.

Festival director Jon Holmes said it had been a pleasure to be involved "in such a well-loved and iconic day in the Mackenzie region".

"We want to say a huge thank-you to all those who attended, our event partners and stallholders for making the day such a success," said Mr Holmes.

Twizel Promotions hosted the event and chairwoman Coralie Reid was thrilled with the day.

"The festival is our biggest on the calendar with the proceeds going towards our work in the local community.

"It was the perfect venue to unveil our new Love Twizel sculpture. Thanks to the Twizel Community Board in achieving this project."

Festival attendee Melissa Smith, of Oamaru, said each year she and her husband returned with more friends.

"It is always a great day out — fabulous wine and food in the most incredible setting.

"We will be back next year for another great day."