Tuesday, May 28, 2024
12.8 C


My Account

- Advertisement -

Hoping for lift off

By Hayley Gastmeier

[email protected]

It’s been a pretty miserable few months for those organising outdoor events in Wairarapa.

It’s almost like someone’s having a joke – with everything from Wings, the Harvest Festival, Castlepoint Races, fishing competitions, and the A&P Show affected.

Now organisers of our latest offering, this week’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival, have their fingers crossed in the hope they’ll finally catch a break and see rain predicted sidestepping the region.

Tropical Cyclone Cook is headed for the east coast of the north island, with MetService saying that although it is not clear which path the cyclone will take, spells of wet weather are almost certain.

Sixteen bright balloons are set to colour Wairarapa skies during the festival, which is scheduled to begin early Thursday morning and will run until Monday.

Festival organiser Robyn Cherry-Campbell said she was “praying” for fine weather.

“We’re really hoping the weather gods will look kindly on us, and we can finally have a Wairarapa outdoor event which goes ahead in its entirety.”

She said wet weather and wind could lead to the cancellations of festival events.

“Balloons can’t fly or inflate if it’s raining.

“As soon as you put those burners on, if the envelope is wet, the water will actually boil.”

She said, should the event be cancelled due to the weather, it would not be covered by insurance.

“[Insurance] is cost prohibitive for us, we don’t have a lot of disposable income in our budget, and apart from the Night Glow, every single event is free.”

The Night Glow, scheduled for Friday evening, would be postponed to Saturday if the weather did not play ball.

If cancelled on Saturday, then ticket holders would be given a refund.

Cyclone Cook tracking to deliver wet weekend

Mrs Cherry-Campbell said the festival committee would be updating the public about events through the event’s Facebook page.

She said if the festival was cancelled, the future of the annual event would not be impacted.

“There’s way too many passionate people. As far as I’m aware, it won’t hinder the future of the event.”

Destination Wairarapa marketing manager Barbara Hyde said despite the unpredictable weather, this weekend was gearing up to be a typical Easter with accommodation bookings “looking very good”.

“Whilst it hasn’t been our best summer ever, we are certainly still seeing people come to the region,” she said.

“It’s Easter and school holidays, and shop rules have changed — people love coming here at Easter.”

MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn said it was hard to predict the exact path the cyclone would take.

“It’s currently well north of us, but it’s going to be moving down towards the north east of the country.

“It could come right by the north east of the North Island or it could be much further east and not have as much effect.”

Miss Flynn said Thursday was going to be wet, regardless of how close the cyclone was to the North Island.

However, the weather would improve slightly for Friday and Saturday.

“We’re looking at just a few showers on Friday and then mostly fine on Saturday.”

But if the cyclone tracked closer to the coast, the rain “would hang on a bit longer” and the wind could be “quite strong”.

Sunday was looking to have a fine start, but there was a chance of rain in the afternoon.

Yesterday, Cyclone Cook was classified as category three.

Miss Flynn said cyclones usually weakened as they moved on, but it could still cause “a pretty significant” weather event.

Festival Programme

Thursday, April 13

Mass Ascension – 7am at Carrington Park, Carterton

Tranzit Burner Parade – 6.30pm at Greytown, and 7.30pm at Carterton

Friday, April 14

Resene Splash n’ Dash Competition – 7am at Henley Lake, Masterton

Copthorne Solway Park Night Glow (ticketed event) – from 3pm to 8pm at Solway Showgrounds

Saturday, April 15

Park to Paddock Challenge – 7am at Memorial Park, Greytown

WBS Pilot Flight Path – 2pm at Queen Elizabeth Park, Masterton

Sunday, April 16

Meander over Martinborough – 7am at the Town Square

Monday, April 17

Dawn Patrol – 6.30am at Rathkeale College

Previous article
Next article

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
overcast clouds
12.8 ° C
13.8 °
12.8 °
64 %
88 %
13 °
10 °
13 °
17 °
17 °