This year’s Willowridge Wanakafest at Pembroke Park from 24 to 27 October will feature top musical acts, gourmet food and wine, and new family activities which are set to make it the biggest and best Festival yet.
For the first time, this year’s event will host a top New Zealand musical act in Kiwi rock royalty Don McGlashan. Don is most widely known for his iconic songAnchor Me and is currently touring with Dave Dobbyn.
Willowridge Wanakafest Event Organiser Laurel Morrison says securing McGlashan is just one of the many highlights for this year’s Festival.
“Thrill seekers are going to love this year’s Urban Downhill mountain bike race, which has a new twist that includes the Airbag Freedrop, and we’ll also be introducing the first Ruby Ridge Trolley Derby event.
“New for the kids is the Puzzling World Imagination Station with bubbles, magic, stilt walkers and balloon making.”
As part of the wider event, the Lake Wanaka Wine and Food Festival will run over the Saturday and Sunday at Pembroke Park and will feature premium Central Otago wines and local gourmet food.
Lake Wanaka Tourism General Manager James Helmore says this year’s Festival will showcase some of Otago’s top talent, including celebrity chefs James Stapley and Bevan Smith.
“We have a great offering of local wines and produce this year with wineries such as Rippon, Maude Wines and Wild Earth Winery all taking part. We’ll also be promoting our local gourmet restaurants such as The Spice Room, Edgewater and Francesca’s Pizzas. While Mojo coffee will be providing the coffee fix to keep patrons going throughout the four-day event.
“Of course we have a beautiful scenic backdrop here in Wanaka, but the wine and food is really an attractive offering in itself – so we’re really looking forward to putting it all on display at this year’s Festival.”
Festival favourites Passion for Fashion, the Wanaka Business Collective Street Parade, the Wanaka Pharmacy Polar Plunge and the duck race will all be back again this year.
Morrison says, “After several early snowstorms this year, it has felt like a really long winter. It’s time for people to shake off the cold and celebrate all that spring has to offer in this beautiful little town.
“Willowridge Wanakafest is Wanaka’s community event and a chance for locals and visitors of all ages to come together and have some fun.”
About Lake Wanaka Wine and Food Festival:
The Festival is spread over two days of spectacular views, great music and entertainment in a relaxed picnic atmosphere on the park. Patrons can taste the best of Central Otago wine while enjoying locally grown and prepared food.
Entry is free to the Lake Wanaka Wine And Food Festival site. While on-site at the Festival, all wine and beer must be consumed in this year’s festival glass. Patrons can purchase a festival wine or beer glass for $20, which includes four free tastings.