Rousing reception for Kia Ora Kaitaia

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BPM (Beats Per Minute) giving their encore performance at Thursday's Kia Ora Kaitaia Festival.
BPM (Beats Per Minute) giving their encore performance at Thursday's Kia Ora Kaitaia Festival.

Old habits die hard, it seems, but the Kaitaia Business Association is confident that last week's Kia Ora Kaitaia Festival paved the way for some new ones.

"It took people a while to get used to walking out on the street," Andrea Panther said, "but after a while they they got used to the fact that there wasn't going to be any traffic."

Dance group BPM (Beats Per Minute) certainly made the most of the absence of cars, with help from Bruno Mars, performing for the crowd facing north, then, at MC Dion Hobson's insistence, repeating it for those facing south.

Mrs Panther said the response had been (almost) universally positive. One business owner hadn't not been too impressed by the exodus of potential customers out into the street, but everyone else had enjoyed themselves.

"The community certainly seemed to like it," she said.

"The stalls all did well and there was a good range of entertainment. Hopefully next year there will be more, but this was a great start to what we hope will be an annual event."

Some businesses had gone out of their way to make their contribution, she added, citing LJ Hooker, which offered face painting, and First National, whose stall did a brisk trade in lollies and hotdogs.

"It's cool that some people made such a big effort," she said.

"We've had a lot of positive feedback. For a first effort it's been very encouraging, and now we're looking ahead to next year."

- Northland Age

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