Festival vibes at this year’s Food Challenge

There is an enticing music line up taking place on February 2. Image Supplied

If you’re more the spectator type and enjoy a good brew and some chilled live music, then this year’s Local Wild Food Challenge will be sure to please.

The festival returns to Mahy Reserve in Ohope on Saturday February 2 2019, with a fresh new look and a host of options for those attending.

Whakatane District Council Marketing and Events Coordinator, Julie Allerby says this year’s event will offer something for everyone – from competitors, to families, to musos and beer aficionados.

“At this year’s festival there will be a craft beer garden featuring Mata Beer and new vendors, Mills Reef Winery and The Mount Brewing Company,” she says.

“There will also be a great variety of food trucks and stall holders offering an array of options for everyone.

“The music line-up is looking very enticing with Del Pacifico, the Randy Matthews Quintet and Santiago Rebagliati with Camilia all confirmed for the event.”

Del Pacifico is an eight-piece band that plays the diverse music with a South American sound. The band is based in Tauranga with members from Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Venezuela.

American Clarinettist, Randy Matthews, leads the Tauranga-based Randy Matthews Quintet – a jazz ensemble which specialises in providing easy-listening music for festivals and events.

Santiago Rebagliati, who is currently playing with fellow South American multi-instrumentalist Camilia Lenhart, brings fun, funky and upbeat Latin roots music to the festival, combining acoustic guitar with in-the-moment rhythmic loops, producing a contagious sound.

The Local Wild Food Challenge includes food demonstrations, master classes, mystery box challenges, kid’s activities, a tasting BBQ and more, all at a stunning venue which celebrates the best of the district.

To allow for the new programme and growth of the event there will be a small cover charge for adults, but kids will remain free. Tickets can be purchased from the Eventfinda website for $7.69, or pay $10 on the day.

Whakatane’s Local Wild Food Challenge is part of a worldwide series of events, held in locations as far away as Finland and Italy.


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