More than 200 people attended Friday’s night market. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

Friday’s first night market event in Masterton’s controversial parklet on Park St was attended by more than 200 people.

From 4pm until late that evening, residents made the most of summer’s long daylight hours to enjoy an array of community-minded activities.

Children enjoyed life-sized games. PHOTO/DAVID LINTOTT

Community facilities and activities manager Andrea Jackson described it as an intergenerational crowd with a mix of young families, as well older couples and young people.

“It’s a nice cross section of the community. I’m most pleased about the kids, family and more elderly residents as it’s a nice mix.”

She said she was happy with Friday’s turnout but expected to make some small changes as the parklet and community event trial continued.

Jackson said it was an interesting way to see how Masterton’s streets could be used differently for the community.

The parklet is one of many aimed to create a strong east-west link between Queen Elizabeth Park and Queen St, as well as creating youth recreational activities and supporting day-to-day street activities.

It has drawn strong criticism from some residents and business owners, with many saying the parklet has disrupted traffic flow and is in the wrong area.

Masterton woman Pauline Cribb said the controversial opening of the temporary parklet hadn’t “really bothered” her and she was enjoying the night market.

“They’ve done a pretty good job for the first week.”

Her husband, Tomo, said they’d come to enjoy the selection of food stalls.

There were more than 10 food stalls to choose from. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

“She didn’t want to cook so we came down to grab some food here instead.”

There was plenty of variety to choose from with a range of catering and food trucks along the street.

There were also several activities for children to choose from, including life-size board games, bubbles and the temporary skate park where a skating workshop was held on Saturday.

Friday night’s events were part of a trial of the parklet on Park St, with another night market scheduled for next Friday, before they revert to the town square for the next two Fridays.

The Park St parklet closes on Sunday, January 27, earlier than originally scheduled, with normal traffic flow resuming the following day.

A spokesperson for the Masterton District Council said feedback to the council survey up until Friday showed 51 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of the parklet, while only 30 per cent didn’t like it and 19 per cent were undecided.

Feedback on the parklets can be submitted to the council via a survey which can be found on the MyMasterton Facebook page.