Festival shelved for year

This year’s Wanakafest has been  cancelled.

A difficult past few years, combined with time restraints, meant organisers had chosen not to go ahead with the Wanaka community event this year.

Issues which have affected past festivals include the cancellation of the street parade, wet weather and a declining number of stalls which led to fewer people attending.

Wanaka Community Trust committee member Richard Elvey said he and others had tried to make the festival work this year but had run out of time.

The difficulties organisers had experienced in the past meant it was time to look at how the festival was run and make some changes, Mr Elvey said.

There were no financial issues with the festival, he said.

He hoped next year the festival would be more of a community-run event, which did not need to rely on sponsorship.

"I’m hoping we can get more groups involved and make it more of an event run by the community for the community," he said.

Some of the festival’s most-loved events would continue this year, such as the polar plunge and cardboard boat race, he said.

Those events would be organised through the Kahu Youth Trust, Mr Elvey said.

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