Unprecedented entertainment lineup
A jam-packed programme of live entertainment and interactive family fun will be one of the major drawcards for this year’s annual Wanaka A&P Show, held on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 March 2016.
The Wanaka Show attracts more than 35,000 people from around the country every year and organisers are predicting another successful event for the 79th Show, with the addition of a new Life & Style Marquee for 2016. The space is to feature cooking demonstrations by MasterChef New Zealand’s Jax Hamilton, flower arranging presentations by Wanaka’s Crimson Design, whiskey tasting by the new Cardrona Distillery and boer goat cooking demos and tastings.
A free kids zone will also launch at this year’s event. The House of Fun, run in conjunction with Wanaka charitable trust Kahu Youth and House of Travel, is a dedicated ‘hang out’ spot for kids aged 10 to 15 with comfy couches, a pool table, activities and games such as three-legged races and gumboot throwing.
“The House of Fun will be the hub of the Show for youth and a place where they can enjoy those classic Kiwi games and challenges, while the Life & Style Marquee is sure to be popular with the adults. We’re thrilled to have Jax Hamilton and our other contributors on board to do presentations this year – there will certainly be something to interest everyone,” Wanaka Show coordinator Jane Stalker says.
Celebrity chef Hamilton didn’t hesitate when asked to come to the Show: “Any excuse to spend time in beautiful Wanaka is a fabulous time for me,” she says. “I have four stunning recipes to showcase to inspire, cook, taste and entertain the crowds. I have a fantastic description for my job: giggles and nibbles. Expect plenty of them!”
Award-winning country singer Kayla Mahon will perform on the Radio Wanaka stage, as will magician Jonathan Usher and Christchurch-based clown act Carrot and Pickle. The Show will cement its position as one of New Zealand’s largest agricultural and pastoral events by continuing to host various livestock and equestrian events, as well as the Beef + Lamb NZ Golden Lamb Awards (aka the Glammies). The famous Jack Russell race, wood chopping, sheaf tossing and carnival rides also return to the 2016 programme.
The 2016 guest of honour is Kiwi equestrian icon Catriona Williams, who will speak at a special fundraising event for her charity CatWalk on Friday, March 11. Held at the ringside sponsors’ marquee at the Showgrounds from 6.30-9pm, the event is open to the public with limited tickets available. Tickets are $20 per person.
Entry to the Show is $15 per adult for a one-day pass, or $20 for a two-day pass. A youth pass (13-17 years) is $5 for both days, and children aged 12 and under are free.
Although there is now a nominal $5 entry fee for youth, Stalker says this is more than made up for by the number of free activities and entertainment on offer at this year’s Show.
“With an unprecedented entertainment programme and numerous family activities, we’re confident that individuals and families will feel that this year’s Wanaka Show is excellent value for money,” she says.
The Wanaka A&P Show is held at the Wanaka Showgrounds at the corner of Ardmore and McDougall Streets. Gates open 8am on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 March.