Rose festival to include wine, art, Shakespeare

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Plenty to see . . . isitors explore the Sunday market day at the Timaru Festival of Roses.

South Canterbury has been taking time out to smell the roses for 18 years.

It is 18 years since it all began and the Timaru Festival of Roses, that heralds the beginning of summer, has become a staple of the region’s must-see events.

“It’s really a giant summer celebration with free markets, public and private garden displays, rose themed tours, fabulous floral art creations, children’s activities, music, theatre and creativity – all with a huge level of community involvement,” festival director Chris Thomas said.

The festival attracts garden lovers and creative enthusiasts from all corners of New Zealand.

Friday night’s opening night function, which includes formalities by Timaru’s deputy mayor Steve Wills, features the owner and founder of Marlborough’s Allan Scott Family Winemakers.

Opening up about his personal story and the story of wine, Mr Scott will also bring down some of the latest Allan Scott wines for sampling. With nearly 40 years in the wine business, Mr Scott is one of the most experienced people in New Zealand when it comes to growing, making and marketing wine.

Two photographic exhibitions will also feature, the 2019 Baby Buds by Little Moments Photography and Sporotrichosis – stunning close-up photography of flowers – by Vanessa Hardley.

Gardening guru Lynda Hallinan will take two workshops on Saturday at Jakar Gardens, offering advice on how to create a bigger, better, more bountiful backyard harvests, and the afternoon workshop has a Christmas flavour, making Christmas gifts from your own garden and kitchen.

The popular night market will be held on Saturday, from 5pm to 10pm. A massive hit when it opened in 2017, the market offers food stalls serving up the very best street food plus the best of local arts, crafts and Christmas gifts.

There will also be local entertainment including The Soul Agency and Amelia James and a night-time presentation by Aidan Theatre of Shakespeare in the Gardens, a shortened version of Twelfth Night.

The Hospice South Canterbury Home and Garden Tour, on Friday and Saturday, gives visitors the chance to tour through some of Timaru’s most exclusive private gardens and new homes.

The final big event for the weekend is the free Sunday Market Day, from 10am on the Bay, with stalls, food and entertainment. Twelfth Night will also be performed at the free Sunday Market on the Bay in the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden.

The Festival of Roses runs from Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 1.