Weather oscillating between intense heat and drenching showers did not stop thousands of visitors attending one of the area’s most popular and anticipated highlights of the brand-new year: Mangawhai Domain Society’s (MDS) annual festival gala on January 2.
Umbrellas were used to ward off both rain and sun as holidaymakers, locals and visitors toured dozens of multi-coloured stalls offering an eclectic array of product including craft, sculptures, garden art and clothing as well as carnival rides and delicious cuisine with several stalls promoting local historical and environmental causes.
Canine members of the Kaipara Dog Training Club entertained visitors with their impressive display of skill, obedience and dog-gone cheekiness, and several musical talents including Mangawhai’s very own Totally Uked and local buskers enlivened the carnival atmosphere.
Gala waste was also sorted into appropriate bins thanks to local environmental advocacy group, Sustainable Kaipara.
Coordinated by MDS chair Robert de Koning and gala administrator/co-ordinator and bookings administrator, Renee Hanley, the huge event is the Domain’s major fundraiser providing necessary cash to maintain the facility.
Supported by Mangawhai’s business community, the gala takes months of organising and is made possible by the input and energy of more than 100 volunteers performing essential tasks such as prepping the grounds, traffic and parking control, manning the eftpos machine, and the huge post-event clean-up.