Food festival returns with new events

Tickets for the third annual Air Chathams Sunshine and a Plate food festival are expected to be snapped up quickly when they go on sale this month.

The week-long festival will run from 23 February to 4 March 2018, and will include several new events, as well as revisiting previous festivals’ most popular features. Sunshine and a Plate committee member Anna Williams says the programme had been fine-tuned to make the festival “the best yet”.

“We have some exciting new events that will showcase our region’s food and spectacular scenery, but we will be bringing back the popular Sunshine Gourmet Markets. Following feedback from this year’s event, we’ve reduced the entry fee for the markets to $5 per adult, with children free, and have improved the layout of the food vendors’ ‘village’, the drinks area and the stage,” she says.

“Flights on the iconic DC3 are always a sell-out, so they’ll also be part of the 2018 programme.”

The Sunshine and a Plate website is also being redeveloped, with the aim of strengthening the event brand and positioning it alongside New Zealand’s other major food events. Mrs Williams said the long-term goal for the food festival was for it to become a fixture on New Zealand’s food tourism map – and an icon event for the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The new website and ticket sales will be launched on 20 November.

Hospice Eastern Bay of Plenty’s Sunshine and a Plate follows on from the very successful events held in 2016 and 2017, and all proceeds will go towards providing free specialist palliative care services in the Eastern Bay.

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