It was a laidback and relaxed atmosphere at the wharf on Monday for the first Raglan Summer Wharf Festival.

Hundreds enjoyed a wine and a “meal deal” as they listened to live music at tables set up under island-style sun umbrellas along the front of the wharf, but there wasn’t quite the numbers — or huge difficulty getting a park – of last month’s big Christmas party at the wharf.

Raglan Seafoods’ Mark Mathers and stallholders agreed business was a bit slow, but had expected that on a day when many in town for Auckland Anniversary Weekend were packing up and heading home.

Mark said they’d decided to make it a family day rather than a party focussed around the Placemakers ‘Take a Kid fishing’ competition. They’d thought of staging the summerfest on the Sunday, but didn’t want to take anything away from the Manu Bay fishing competition and Vilagrads — which supplied the outdoors bar and the entertainment – could not do the day before anyway.

Wahinemoa operator Charlie Young, who spent a lot of time behind the wheel of the free shuttle between the wharf and downtown Raglan, was thrilled at what he called “a really magic day”.

Ian Hardie skippered harbour mini cruises in the big tourist catamaran during the day but the highlight was a booked-out Wahinemoa “full moon” cruise from 9 to 11 in the evening in place of the usual 7-9 sunset cruise.
Kayak and paddleboard rentals, face-painting and spot prizes were among other attractions at the day-long summerfest.

Edith Symes