Matariki Festival lights up CBD

Invercargill is gearing up for a Matariki Festival in the heart of Invercargill’s CBD on Saturday, 1 July.

City Centre Co-ordinator Kari Graber said Esk Street will be closed to traffic and transformed for the day to host the Festival, which will feature traditional Maori arts and activities – and great Kiwi entertainment.

Highlights will include a street market and food trucks in Esk Street from 10am-3pm, Kapa Haka performances, weaving workshops, poi-making workshops and carving demonstrations by Steve Solomon and Oti Murray. There will be live music throughout the day and a Fire Show in Esk Street at 5.30pm.

The Invercargill Public Library’s Community Connections Co-ordinator, Jay Coote, will host the Stardome at the Scottish Hall from 1pm to 5pm.

All activities are free to the public.

The event is the latest initiative by the Invercargill City Council, partnering with the community and retailers, to encourage patronage of the city centre.

“June through to August are traditionally slower months for retailers and my hope is the Festival will help to stimulate sales, as well as provide a great community mid-winter event,” Ms Graber said. “Retailers have been very positive and  many shops have decorated their windows with the hundreds of kites made by local children, or with lights and stars.

UPDATE: Details and times for events and activities for the festival were available in the Shows and Events section; there was also a map showing where the kites were displayed.