Rhodo festival makes colourful return

Flower Fest...Join the Southland Rhododendron Group (from left) Peter Morris, Noeline Smith, Beverley Brookland, Lyn Hankey and Jayne O'Neil for a bloomin’ good time at the Gore Rhododendron Festival on October 29. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS

Get ready for a blooming good time at the Gore Rhododendron Festival.
The annual festival, which is run by the Southland Rhododendron Group, is back with another unique event.
Festival convener Jayne O’Neill said the event was an opportunity to showcase the brightly coloured blooms and the beautiful Gore Public Gardens.
“It’s a great day out for all the family, especially with lovely weather,” she said.
“There’s something for everyone live music, market stalls, activities for children, international food stalls, and, of course, an opportunity to purchase plants and blooms for your garden.”
The festival, which is in its 29th year, will be held at the gardens on Sunday, October 29, with more activities happening at nearby locations.
“Over at St Andrews Church hall there will be a display of bonsai, which has been organised by Martin Mackereth and the local bonsai club. Visitors can also vote for their favourite rhododendron and enjoy a Devonshire tea provided by the lovely people at the Gore Soroptimists Club,” Mrs O’Neill said.
“There will also be live music from 10.30am from the Invercargill Big Band, Ascot Brass Band, the Wyndham Pipe Band and students from Longford Intermediate students will thrill us with their kapa haka.”
Children’s entertainment, including a bouncy castle, bumper balls, stilt walkers and face painters, can be found at the Irwell St Reserve. The area will be closed to allow for easy access.
Sixty-one stall holders have already registered for the event, which has always been well attended by the Gore community and surrounding areas.
The 29th Gore Rhododendron Festival will be held on Sunday, October 29 at the Gore Public Gardens from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free.