Musicians draw crowds

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It appears this year’s New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards drew more people to the town than previous years.

Restaurants and bars celebrated the weekend as visitors and residents poured into establishments in what was a good weekend both from entertainment and financial perspectives.

Mataura Licensing Trust general manager Mark Paterson said the trust’s establishments enjoyed a busy weekend.

there was standing room only at the Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room, he said.

The entertainment provided on Friday and Saturday contributed to the full house there, he said.

Traffers was well patronised on Saturday when the Gore Truck Show was held.

“There was a very good turnout and everyone was well behaved,” Mr Paterson said.

The Howl at the Moon cafe-bar was also well patronised, with Monday being exceptionally good, he said.

The Heartland Hotel Croydon had a busy time providing accommodation, as well as hosting a breakfast buffet.

Mr Paterson described the awards as a great event for the town.

great place to come,” he said.

Mr Paterson was pleased for senior overall winner Jenny Mitchell. The Gore-raised singer-songwriter was a regular performer at the Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room.

Organising committee publicity officer Shona Hewlett thought there were a lot more people out and about in the town in the awards lead-up and during Queens Birthday weekend.

The awards drew the second-highest number of contestants in its history – 700 – which she said kept the awards strong and vibrant.

“I think it was really successful. We had a lot of new people in town.”

“There was a real buzz.”

Convener Philip Geary agreed the awards were extremely successful.

He believed Jenny Mitchell was a very deserving winner of the senior title.

“I think she’s only the third person to win back-to-back [titles].”

Miss Mitchell won the intermediate overall title last year.

This was also the first year the intermediate final had been won by a group, he said.

Mr Geary also thought there were good numbers of people out and about in the town.

Sunday night’s senior final was “pretty close” to a full house.

The organising committee planned to hold a debrief within the next two weeks.

“Then we start again for next year,” he said.

The Gore Town and Country Club, where many of the awards events were held, had a busy weekend.

Manager David Rance said the bar and restaurant were at capacity. Business was on par with previous years, Mr Rance said.

“It’s great for us.It ticked along nicely.

“All credit to the committee of Gold Guitars. They kept things trucking along nicely.”