The 25th Art Deco Weekend is set to spark into Silver Jubilee life from next Thursday.
As the dust settles (from the dance floors) and the last drinks are taken and the spats and furs are put away for another year, many visitors lured to Napier for the Geon Art Deco Weekend often remark that they feel like they have been involved in a movie.
The colour, the excitement, the diversity of characters, the music, the adventurous escapades of dashing airmen in wondrous aircraft above, the fleets of fine old cars, the great spotlights in the sky, the sterling navy chaps ... and all on a set created back in the 1930s.
It is all very much movie-like when you think about it.
Like a 1954 movie called Brigadoon, which starred golden-toes Gene Kelly.
The strange Scottish town called Brigadoon would come back to life for just one day, every 100 years.
For Kelly and his chum who stumbled upon it it was a step back in time, albeit a brief one.
Napier has an advantage over the myth of Brigadoon however, in that it slips back through the corridors of time for four days, and it happens every year.
It is a step back in time which started modestly - very modestly.
From the spark of an idea from Robert McGregor and Dermot Horne who recognised the historic value, not to mention beauty, of the city's architectural landscape.
Not everyone in town shared their enthusiasm of course, as to many, buildings were buildings.
Some thought the idea that Napier should start embracing its "old buildings" was madness, and turned an uncaring eye to the sight of some decoratively plastered and concreted buildings being demolished to make way for more "modern" '70s structures where unimaginative modern panels, glass and screens dominated.
Unlike Mr McGregor and Mr Horne, few looked up and marvelled at the architecture of their central city.
A unique central city which had been reduced to rubble and ashes by an earthquake and rebuilt in the style of the times.
For that reason it possessed a magic no other town or city in the country could match.
It was a time when architecture was inspired and infused with many of the designs which emerged from the Exposition des Arts Modernes Decoratifs et Industriels show staged in Paris in 1925.
Whip a few words and letters away and "Art Deco" emerges.
Decoration blended with design as the show underlined the optimism and bubbliness of an optimistic world fast recovering from the terrible years of World War I.
The imagination of architects was encouraged - and they delivered.
Just take a look around Napier next time you're out and about.
As it was pointed out to me once during an Art Deco guided tour, there is even some Egyptian influence in our CBD midst.
And a touch of South American.
Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical were popular designs of the late '20s and the '30s and Hawke's Bay has them in spades, as Hastings too has its unique landscape of post-earthquake design treasures.
While the first fledgling Art Deco tours did not take place until much later, there was a tour of central Napier staged in 1981.
A group of visiting architects were taken on a walk, and their enthusiasm for the remaining Victorian and Edwardian heritage buildings was effectively interrupted by an Italian member of the group declaring that the real treasures were the rows of unique buildings created in an era some five decades earlier.
Guy Natusch, an architect of renown in his own right, agreed, and he helped spark the eventual creation of a book called The Art Deco Architecture of Napier.
It was not just the locals who started to realise that yes, when painted and presented some of those "old buildings" were rather pretty, but visitors and even people overseas.
There was an Art Deco Walk through the streets in 1985 which also included the display of some old cars and bits and pieces from the 1930s era.
The organisers, Brian Cotter and Ron Steel, were hoping maybe 100 people would turn up to embrace the city's new-found "treasure".
They were overwhelmed when the crowd grew to more than a thousand.
The spark had ignited.
By the late 1980s more regular walks started to take place and books about the city's unique landscape began to appear.
The Art Deco Trust was created, with Robert McGregor as its president, in 1987, and two years later the first Art Deco Weekend was staged - albeit on a small scale.
But the event created enough of a reaction for the trust to give it another shot in 1991.
It struck the right chords and for many people ticked all the right boxes.
As Bertie, one of the faces of Art Deco in the years ahead, once said "people love to dress up".
The weekends simply grew, and grew.
In 1992 the weekend events sheet was a folded sheet of A4 with about a dozen events lined up.
Two years later the events list had nudged past 30, and today it numbers about 200.
The numbers of people who decided to check out the thing called Art Deco, from across the region, the country and internationally, grew from the hundreds to the thousands to the tens of thousands.
The Art Deco Weekends have been the focus of international television productions.
The event has been lauded by the likes of Lonely Planet and a string of publications which tag it as a "must do".
And a leading attraction for Napier getting cruise ships was arguably its Art Deco "point of difference".
For retailers, tourism operators, the transport industry, the hospitality trade from cafes and restaurants to hotels and motels, it is a golden weekend.
A weekend where the French and New Zealand navies will be in town, army and air force chaps will be about and where old trains, planes and automobiles emerge.
If it were a movie, it would sweep the Oscars. It started as a small-scale soiree but has grown almost
- as Roger Moroney reports
DRESSED UP: Chaps, gals, the young and the young-at-heart - everyone dons the deco threads for the big weekend. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR HBT070473-01
PARADE: One of the highlights is the great Saturday parade. From a dozen vintage vehicles back in the late '80s to hundreds today, with some owners bringing theirs in from overseas just for the weekend. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR HBT090850-24
WALKING ON: The Art Deco walks are a regular feature on Napier streets today, and on the big weekend they will be out in great force as visitors from all over the world "look up". PHOTO/ DUNCAN BROWN A-Q309-16
''Unlike Mr McGregor and
Mr Horne, few looked up
and marvelled at the
their central city.
tapping into a bygone era