• Video: Was this the best Art Deco Weekend ever?

Video: Was this the best Art Deco Weekend ever?


A successful Art Deco Weekend is set to have not only boosted the local economy, but also given Hawke’s Bay something to cheer about after the low years of COVID-19 and Cyclone Gabrielle.

A weekend of sunshine ensured that crowds gathered to experience the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era. With scheduled events and also opportunities for locals and visitors to simply soak up the atmosphere, the festival bounced back after being cancelled in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle last year and getting through the COVID-19 years.

Highlights of the festival were the memorial flying displays, Friday Night with the Stars, the vintage car parade, the Great Gatsby Party at Mission Estate, the Tremains Gatsby Picnic, the Deco Decadence Grand Ball, and the Soap Box Derby.

The most sombre part of the weekend was the Veronica Bell ceremony. After the Sunday Church Service at Waiapu Cathedral, officers and sailors from the Royal New Zealand Navy took centre stage as crowds gathered in the Veronica Sunbay for the ringing of the bell, a symbol of the 1931 earthquake and the response of HMS Veronica’s crew to aid the citizens of Napier.

Commodore Mat Williams, senior officer present, said it was regrettable that many Napier residents now share the experience of a natural disaster following Cyclone Gabrielle, and acknowledged how, once again, the NZ Defence Force came to Napier’s aid.

The success of the weekend was summed up by New Zealand actress Antonio, who was this year’s Chief Costume Officer of the festival.

In a post on the Napier Art Deco Trust Festival, Prebble says she has had the “most wonderful time” at the festival.

“I was truly blown away by the incredible support the region has for this event - thousands of people turned up in their best deco outfits and the city was transformed, it was SO fun!

Thanks so much to Hawke’s Bay Tourism for looking after me so well, this truly was a day to remember!”