Thursday’s sun shone full and bright on the first day of the four day ‘Bloom in the Bay’ festival at Tauranga Historic Village.
A small white tent city has appeared in the village green, with food stalls, musicians, sculpture, art, speakers and floral design adding a huge vibe to the village.
At the vibrant heart of the 2018 Garden and Art Festival, ‘Bloom in the Bay’ is an exciting festival hub full of creative talent, food and entertainment.
Debuting this year at the Tauranga Historic Village, this mini-festival within a festival is the ‘must-go-to’ place to meet up with friends before heading off on the Garden and Art Trail. And it’s the place to return to during the trail, and again afterwards, to enjoy the vast selection on offer.
“We decided to give the festival hub a name of its own,” says festival director Marc Anderson. “For people who don’t have time to go on the Garden and Art Trail, we still want to give them an opportunity to come and experience something to do with the Garden and Art Festival. We decided to call it ‘Bloom in the Bay’, as it’s a mini-festival in its own right.”
Open from 9am to 9.30pm every day of the festival, Bloom in the Bay will be bursting with food stalls, a bar, music, a speaker and workshop series, concept gardens, an art gallery, sculpture and floral design.
“There’s going to be around 20 bands playing at Bloom in the Bay from about 3pm to 9pm,” says Adam McLean, the festival music liaison. “Mostly original music, but also some cover bands. Mainstream music, some latin, very nice and chilled back.”
Adam will be playing Friday night with his band The Hustle, and bringing to the stage many of the bands and musicians he features through the Bay Originals.
The stage, which has been set up next to the new deck on the Kollective building, overlooks the Village Green, which has tables, a bar, marquees and plenty of delicious food offerings.
“We want to create an open outdoor atmosphere with music, art, gardens and food that everyone loves,” says festival director Marc Anderson. “The village already has a great vibe, and Bloom in the Bay will add to this, with everyone just having fun amongst the art and creativity.”
“Stephen Wilson - the singing chef - will host a French dining experience for up to ten people set up in the village green. Tickets for this have been pre-sold, and the diners will come and enjoy three-course French cuisine with entertaining waiter service while everyone else is walking around them enjoying the atmosphere of the festival.”
The Mills Reef Good George Bar, marquees with sculptures, art, food and displays will provide plenty for music, garden and art lovers to eat, drink and enjoy as they spread out across the village green.
“The Incubator have kindly given us their The People’s Gallery in the village,” says Marc. “Each artist on the trail will have a representation of their work exhibited there.”
“Eight artists and sculptors like Rob McGregor and Dave Roy will hold their exhibitions at the village, whereas others like Melody Downie will have one piece at the village and the rest on show in a garden on the trail.”
The Tauranga Floral Art Society is running the prestigious BOP Area Floral Art Designer of the Year competition in Tauranga Historic Village’s Schoolhouse.
“There are about 80 different designs from period pieces through to contemporary work,” says floral artist Francine Thomas. “Outside the school house is a working table where the public can watch us design. The ‘ Nature into Art’ designs will also be outside.”
Kim Cutting and Geoff Ellett enjoying the music and atmosphere on the village green.
Floral designers from the five Bay of Plenty clubs – Rotorua, Opotiki, Whakatane, Te Puke and Tauranga - are at the festival. The competition was judged on Thursday, the first day of the festival and is now open for public viewing.
The Village Theatre is holding a series of workshops covering topics like rain gardens, permaculture, gardening at The Elms, cruiseship garden tours, plant music and learning from plants. Making glass objects and wreaths workshops will feature on-site and speakers include Ruud Kleinpaste, Gary Cook, Dave Roy, Nichola Vague, Jo Tricker, Antoinette Wilson, Bev Corbett, Troy Edgecombe, Rosie Burr, Emma Cole, Leo Murray, Cherryl Browne and Geoff Canham.
Six local landscape designers have created fascinating concept gardens around the Historic Village, with designs ranging from a rain garden, Japanese kokedama with a happy hanging tree, edible gardens and a creative performance garden.
Megan Wilson has researched the history of Faulkner House – Okorere, and developed a garden that transports the home back to the beachside setting it once enjoyed.
Copper sculpture and organic materials enhance the creative performance garden created by Isaac Weston and Lara Bui.
One of the concept gardens on display at Tauranga Historic Village.
Coraleigh Parker’s Kokedama Reflection Garden will stun, with a hanging tree taking pride of place outside the Garden and Art Festival office.
Toni McErlane has created an edible garden, and Nichola Vague, inspired by the bush backdrop behind the Historic Village demonstrates an environmentally-friendly way to take rainwater off a roof into her rain garden.
“The really good thing about these concept gardens is that they’re here to stay for visitors of the Historic Village to enjoy after the 2018 Festival has been wrapped up,” says Marc.
Plenty of children’s activities will be going on at the Village, including making your own grass heads, flower jewellery, posies and lavender bags to take home. Planting sunflower seeds, rock painting, and enjoying the kid’s café with iced tea, flower ice cubes and rose petal cookies will feature along with the kids’ garden; as well as chalk art and book readings with Lillybeth Melmoth from Colouring Book City.
“For those who buy a ticket for the trail, they can get into Bloom in the Bay for free,” says Marc. “Otherwise it’s only $5 for adults, and children go free.”
Chef Stephen Wilson.