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Trusty Steed in charge of Wings

Wings over Wairarapa’s new festival director is coming back to her roots.
Carla Steed has been part of the events industry for more than 20 years in Wellington, She was also involved in Lower Hutt’s Carnival of Lights and Wairarapa Wines Festival
She has been appointed the festival director for the upcoming Wings Over Wairarapa in February. But being from Wairarapa, Steed said Wings’ was like going back to her roots.
“Wairarapa has a special place in my heart. I went to school in Wairarapa, and my parents still live there so I visit fairly often.”
The three-day event will feature the largest display of aircraft in New Zealand, Peter Jackson’s flying collection of WW1 aircraft in the world and aircraft from the New Zealand Defence Force.
She said the aviation festival was a special event for the region.
“It’s an awesome event. Wings has a wide reach in the community and involvement from volunteers.
“It is challenging to take on a well-established event. It gives me heart palpitations.”
She said the event was an asset to Wairarapa youth.
“Friday is the school day, we get about 5000 from Wairarapa schools. They get a phenomenal experience, for them to sit in a helicopter, and enjoy science-based activities. It’s a huge benefit to the local community.
Wings’ was the last aviation event before the pandemic, and the first to be reinstated. However, last year’s event was cut short by covid restrictions on Sunday.
Steed said they were hoping for good weather and no covid restrictions, so the event could happen as planned.
The event attracts thousands, 85 per cent of those usually from out of town, 50 per cent of those from the Wellington region, and only 15 per cent locals. However, this year Steed said they hoped to attract more locals.
“Over the years, the local attendance has dropped. We want more local people to attend because it’s such a big event for the area. They should get a chance to experience it.
“We’re running a special deal for Wairarapa people throughout December.”
The event is also seeking volunteers for facilitator support and logistics with roles such as mentors for Take Flight, people for the info desk, pack in/pack out crew, parking support, and general volunteers.
Hood Aerodrome, Masterton from February 24 – 26th 2023

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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