Timaru’s first-ever Seaside Festival is a resounding success

A huge kite show over Carolina Bay capped off Timaru’s seaside festival, with hopes the event will return bigger and better next year.

The festival, originally scheduled for February 3-14, was moved back to February 3-7 due to Covid-19 restrictions, including the flight of 35 kites over the bay on Monday.

Kites fly over Carolina Bay on Monday as part of the Timaru Seaside Festival.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Kites fly over Carolina Bay on Monday as part of the Timaru Seaside Festival.

The event was organized by Venture Timaru, with a grant from the central government and included a sand sculpture built on the bay, an inflatable festival, music and several competitions.

The festival will end with a free screening of the film About time in Caroline Bay on Monday night.

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Event director Simon Carter said the kite marked a “spectacular” final day of the festival.

“They were highly anticipated and they didn’t disappoint,” Carter said.

Kites of all shapes and sizes in the sky above the bay.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Kites of all shapes and sizes in the sky above the bay.

“There was enough wind, the weather played its part.”

Carter said projections of inflatables, sand sculptures and films on the bay have also proven popular.

“We had to change things because of the restrictions, but what this weekend proved is that if you put in something worthwhile, the community will pull through,” he said.

“We hope to go further and better next year and bring Stafford St retail into the festival. Planning is already underway.

“One of our intentions was to stimulate business and the economy through the downtown area.

“It’s proven difficult with the Covid-19 restrictions and all, but it’s something to work on more closely with new events next time.”

Kites fly over Caroline Bay as part of the Seaside Festival.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Kites fly over Caroline Bay as part of the Seaside Festival.

Carter said Timaru has traditionally been “well served” by the Caroline Bay Carnival – first canceled in 2021/22 due to Covid.

“The idea is to try to build on the success of carnival and bring something different to Timaru,” he said.

“It’s a way to extend the summer festivities for about a week. We are already starting to talk with various organizations, and with Venture Timaru, about what we could bring to the city next year.

Other events that may take place next time include a music in the Timaru Botanic Gardens event and a polo in Caroline Bay.

Helen Beswick and Asheley Elizabeth completed a sand sculpture in Caroline Bay on Sunday.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Helen Beswick and Asheley Elizabeth completed a sand sculpture in Caroline Bay on Sunday.

“If we can get the tides right, polo could be pretty spectacular,” Carter said.

“But there are all sorts of things we would like to try.”

Some kites:

A spectacular display of kites at the festival.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

A spectacular display of kites at the festival.

Creatures large and small were on display.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Creatures large and small were on display.

The penguins take flight.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

The penguins take flight.

A huge blue whale was also part of the exhibit.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

A huge blue whale was also part of the exhibit.

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