Take a bow, Napier. You outdid yourself.
Art Deco Weekend was a resounding success and the organisers deserve all the praise due to them.
The events were slick and professional, but it was the fantastic vibe in the city that made it all so special. The Napier City Council, the police and emergency services also deserve a pat on the back for the remarkable job they did in ensuring the city coped with the crush of crowds who flocked to the CBD.
I took the family through for the parade on Saturday and we were so glad we went. It was our first time and the girls loved the fashion and the vintage cars.
The great thing about the weekend was that residents of Napier and Hawke's Bay in general got into the spirit of the event. Even people not in the parade were dressed the part and it added to a very festive atmosphere.
Art Deco Trust manager Sally Jackson said she was "blown away with the crowds and atmosphere". She also touched on something I noticed during the parade. There were so many younger people involved. Art Deco Weekend has truly become an event for all ages.
There was happiness in the air and you could see that people were enjoying themselves in the sunshine. Yesterday clouded over a bit, but Saturday's weather was perfect and the success of the weekend will pave the way for even greater crowds next year. I am sure it has boosted our tourism and given our motels a much-needed cash injection.
What it also shows is that as a region we have a lot to offer - we have the glorious weather, attractive cities and beautiful scenery that makes it easy to host special events. Art Deco, the Food and Wine Classic and IronMaori, among many other things, are tourism drivers and also occasions for the residents of our province to embrace as well.
Art Deco Weekend shows that we don't have to take a backseat - we can organise world-class events right here in Hawke's Bay.
So, well done to all those involved - from the organisers to the vintage car owners to those people who simply put on a pair of braces or a fancy hat. Every little gesture and effort that even the minor players went to contributed to the weekend's success.