Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Images courtesy of Dave Kerr and Janna Sherman

The Wildfoods Festival is gearing up for its 21st Birthday Party, taking place 12-13 March 2010. The 21st birthday is always traditionally a ‘biggie’ as far as birthdays go, and this year’s event should be a real humdinger. It’s looking like it will be THE event to be seen at this summer.

Local woman, Claire Bryant, originated the very first celebration of local wild food. Her wine cellar was very well stocked with a home brew of West Coast gorse flower wine and people were clamouring for a taste of her rose petal brew. So why not hold a festival celebrating the tastes of the wild West Coast?

The first event, in March 1990, also coincided with the 125th anniversary of the birth of Hokitika. It didn’t take long for the rest of New Zealand to be motivated by the magic of the idea – a celebration of Hokitika and all the wild foods of the West Coast. Today The Wildfoods Festival is an iconic and premier event in New Zealand. The first festival attracted a crowd of 1,800 and this year’s festival will see the crowd capacity capped at 15,000.

New wild foods are introduced every year, with such innovations as wasp larvae ice cream, cucumber fish, sheep milk cheeses and wok fried clams, to name just a few! The theme for the 2010 festival is: Bring Your Party to Our Party! Each year there are some amazing costumes, so this year the festival organisers are rewarding festival goers by having a best dressed competition. From Tupperware parties to first birthday parties, black and white parties to vice versa parties, political parties to politically incorrect parties. We’ve mostly all been to one themed party or another, so get your thinking cap on and plan your own party theme for Hokitita. If you do dress up you might scoop up some prizes, but if you’re not into fancy dress, you’ll still be in for a real treat.

The Wildfoods Festival will kick off with a rock concert in the big marquee on Friday night, headlining with Elemeno P. Saturday sees another top range of musicians strutting their stuff to thrill the crowd, as well as loads of new and interesting foods to tickle your taste buds. The day will finish off with another lot of fabulous entertainment at the Saturday night dance.

There will also be roving entertainment mingling amongst the crowd, and continuous stage performances will enliven the festival arena with bands, solo artists, mime, comedy, dancers and much more. Organisers are determined to keep you entertained and rocking day and night.

Remember: there is NO FREEDOM CAMPING in Hokitika and accommodation books up fast, so get in quick smart. Try something different this year and head over to the coast for a weekend of ‘Wild’ festival fun.

FACTS:
Wildfoods Festival, tel: 03 756 9048, E: wildfoods@westlanddc.govt.nz

Accommodation enquiries:
Hokitika i-Site, t: 03 755 6166, E: enquiries@hokitikainfo.co.nz

For a complete list of accommodation options and festival details go to: http://www.wildfoods.co.nz

Venue: Cass square, Hokitika
Tickets for the Friday night concert are: $20.
Tickets for the saturday festival are: adults, $35.00 +
Service Fees*, children under 17, $5.00 + service Fees*, Under 5’s Free. gates open: 10.00am – 5.30pm
* service Fees: tickets purchased for this event online will incur the following service fees:
$1.50 per ticket fee; $3.00 per transaction for pickup tickets; $6.00 per transaction for courier deliveries; $9.00 per transaction for rural deliveries