Retailers welcome return of Ahuriri Street Festival

Free bike services, live music and a scavenger hunt are part of the second annual Ahuriri Street Fest between 10am and 3pm on Sunday 25 November.

The Ahuriri Business Association was so pleased with the response from the public to the first free family friendly Fest held last year that they invited iWay and Napier City Council to repeat the event.

Other highlights include free bike services, bike rides, taekwon do and yoga demonstrations, and local retailers offering special deals on the day.

The Ahuriri community appreciate all the help NCC is giving in the way of traffic control, advertising and entertainment at the Fest, says Alison McKimm, from the Ahuriri Business Association.

Marshalls will be around to help people cross roads, and direct traffic in those areas which are still open to motorists.

Closing roads means families can safely cross Bridge Street and walk between the village, West Quay and the Ahuriri Neighbourfood Market in Mahia Street to enjoy the fun events, and retailers can make the most of the added space. “Wandering the streets is a relaxing way to enjoy all that our seaside village of Ahuriri has to offer. Retailers found this such a worthwhile event last year that the foodies in Ahuriri Business Park (Picnic, Gourmet Direct, Vetro and Bish Wines) decided to join in. Come and join us at this unique fun Fest by the sea.”

The Ahuriri Business Park businesses will be using the carpark outside Vetro. Bay FM is also providing support on the day.

Roads closed for the Fest will be: Bridge Street, between Hardinge Road, Nelson Quay and the Ahuriri Bypass (SH50), Nelson Quay, between Routledge and Bridge Streets, Customs Quay, between SH50 and West Quay, and West Quay, between Customs Quay and Lever Street will be closed at this time.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to experience what it’s like to be in an urban city environment, one with shops, without a car. I hope people decide to try walking or cycling to the festival too,” says Lyndal Johansson, Festival Coordinator and Community Cycling Development Officer. She adds that she hopes other retailers will be encouraged to try closing off streets in their areas to provide other opportunities for shoppers and passersby to have a similar experience.

For those who do need to drive, the Wilsons carpark adjacent to Speights Ale House will be open and free of charge. Entry from Lever Street will be from behind Shed 2. Parking is also available at Perfume Point.

Open street festivals are run successfully around the world, and have been run in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The Ahuriri Street Fest has been inspired by the Open Streets project in America.

Bogota, Colombia, the first city to hold an open street type event in the 1970s, still closes 20-plus kilometres of roads each Sunday to encourage people to cycle or walk through the central city area. 

Hastings District Council initiated iWay, then called a Model Communities project, in 2010. NCC joined iWay in 2015, following a successful joint Hastings District and NCC application for Urban Cycleway Programme funding from central Government.

Both Councils contribute financially to iWay, along with the New Zealand Transport Agency. NCC is currently working on the next phase of the walking and cycling facilities programme and will continue to help fund events to increase the number of users on the iWay network.

iWay aims to ensure cycling and walking infrastructure across the two cities and district is consistent, and allows the sharing of events and educational programmes. The long term goal is to create the most extensive urban cycle network in regional New Zealand.

For more information, go to www.iway.org.nz or visit www.facebook.com/loveiway 

If the festival has to be cancelled because of bad weather, please visit the iWay Facebook page for information.

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