MORE than 1000 Southlanders attended the Te Anau Hop ‘n’ Vine event at the weekend.
Co-organiser Kevin Downie said it was the most successful and enjoyable year they had had yet.
“People have said it created the vibrancy the town was looking for, with all the local bars and cafes that went off on Saturday… and that doesn’t happen very often.”
He believed numbers had increased due to the group’s decision to go ahead with the occasion.
“I know there were a lot of events which were cancelled and we knew it was going to be a lot more work but we decided to go through.”
There were 27 stands with a range of beer, wine, cocktails and food.
Stallholders came from throughout New Zealand including Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Usually held indoors, it became an outdoor event for this year and temperatures reached 20degC.
“We got 30 gazebos and a load of 25 umbrellas for shade.”
Live music, games and activities kept people occupied throughout the day, he said.
“Things built up during the day and it finished with people dancing to the live bands until the end of the night.”
He acknowledged the groups, people and volunteers who helped out on the day.
“It was a whole Te Anau effort really, so I just wanted to thank them. It was a fabulous time.”
Feedback from the public over social media had been positive.
“People have been messaging to see if we can hold the event again.”
Crimson Badger Brewing head brewer Wesley McAllister, of Frankton, was one of the stallholders on the day.
It was Crimson Badger’s second time as part of the event and it won beer of the festival for its Ginger Bear.
“It was a small victory but we will take it,” Mr McAllister said.
“I was really happy with the turnout of people and everyone’s positive attitude and overall it was better than last year.”
He was looking forward to Hop ‘n’ Vine which will happen in Invercargill on March 26, at ILT Stadium Southland.