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by Greta Yeoman

Floral creations, live music, parades and open gardens are all on the programme for the Timaru Festival of Roses next weekend.

The three-day event begins on November 30 with the South Canterbury Hospice Home and Garden Tour.

People will be able to access nine properties in the Timaru district whose owners have opened their doors or garden gates in support of the hospice.

The open garden tours will also run the next day.

The Saturday events would include the rose show at Caroline Bay Hall, along with floral art arrangements and a children’s floral art display, festival director Chris Thomas said.

Elsewhere in the hall, the Timaru Patchwork and Quilters group will show off its creations, and in another part of the venue, the Baby Buds photo competition entries will be on display.

The competition, which features photographs of 100 South Canterbury babies born in the past year, can be voted on via the Timaru Festival of Roses Facebook page or at the festival on December 1 and 2.

Saturday’s entertainment will continue into the afternoon with the annual Timaru Santa Parade, down Stafford St, followed by an after-parade concert at the parade’s end in Caroline Bay.

The concert will be followed by the second annual Night Market at the bay, where crowds will be entertained by Christchurch trio The Starlets.

Mr Thomas said organisers were well-prepared, having enlisted more food trucks, after thousands of people attended last year and many vendors sold out.

The market will start at 5pm and run until 9.30pm, wrapping up with the annual performance of Shakespeare in the Gardens at 9pm.

Performers from Aidan Theatre will present a 40-minute version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in the bay’s rose garden.

On Sunday, December 2, there will be another craft market at Caroline Bay from 10am to 4pm.

For more details visit www.festivalofroses.co.nz.