Sunday, 12 July 2020


A “really nice” atmosphere at Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival

Initial indications are that the Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival that was held at the Buffalo Beach Reserve in Whitianga on Tuesday last week raised more than $36,000 for Mercury Bay Area School.

The funds will be used to develop the senior students’ quadrangle into a social space that will contribute to the students’ overall wellbeing.

MBAS principal, John Wright, says he estimates between 4,000 and 5,000people enjoyed the carnival in weather that couldn’t have been better. “I think this has been the most ‘relaxed’ carnival we’ve had so far,” he says. “Folks rocked up, with families in tow, had a great day and there was a really nice atmosphere in my view. I was reminded time and again about the friendly atmosphere and many of the stall holders commented that the carnival was superbly organised, an aspect they loved.”

The 128 stalls offered a wide variety of products, from art and crafts to clothing and food. “Generally the stallholders were very happy,” says Kay McDonald, chair of the carnival organising committee. “The quickfire raffles MBAS ran on the day did very well. The prizes were good and each raffle sold out quickly. Local businesses like Blackjack Surf were, again, incredibly generous in donating prizes to us.

“The Funco rides and attractions were very popular and the ‘Dunk the Teacher’ stall the Senior Girls Football team ran was a great hit and really added to the carnival atmosphere.

“The MBAS food stalls were steady throughout the day and at least one of the dishes on offer sold out.”

“Dive Zone Whitianga has again sponsored a kayak package worth more than $1,800, which we raffled off over several months. The raffle did very well.”

The winner of the kayak package was Whitianga resident, Lisa Coster.

Live music was on offer on two stages. The smaller of the stages was a buskers stage where MBAS students were able to display their talents. Legal Issues, an accomplished band of MBAS students, performed on the main stage alongside well-known rock band Ekko Park and highly popular local performer, Anita Prime.

More than 110 volunteers, mostly MBAS parents, teachers and students, helped to make the carnival a success. The names of all the volunteers went into a draw to win a $1,000 travel voucher as well as a suitcase with some travel accessories sponsored by Helloworld Whitianga. The lucky winner was MBAS parent Linda Simonsen.

A one bedroom, one bathroom sleepout several MBAS building, construction and allied trades students built over the course of 2017 and 2018 were auctioned off for $22,000 during the carnival. The proceeds will be used in another build project.

John Wright says the carnival wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and commitment of Kay McDonald and John Skelton, the Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival administrator. “Kay and John have been extraordinary,” he says. “They have built on, and put together, great systems for all of us to have a very successful day. Their involvement in the carnival is over and above what they both do in their busy lives. They’re special people.

“I also would like to thank all the business owners across our community for their support. Just stunning!”

In addition to Dive Zone Whitianga’s in kind sponsorship, the Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival was this year sponsored by the following businesses - 100% Whitianga ($500), Cove Construction ($1,000), Dekker Construction ($500), Espy Café ($500), Gull Whitianga ($500), Guthrie Bowron Whitianga ($1,000), H & M Pascoe ($500), Peninsula Roofing & Scaffolding (in kind), Peninsula Party Hire ($500 and in kind), PlaceMakers Whitianga ($1,000), Ray White Whitianga ($1,000), RDP Panel & Paint ($1,000), RMS Surveyors (in kind), The Lost Spring ($1,000), The Mercury Bay Informer ($1,000), Whitianga Waterways (in kind) and You Travel Whitianga ($500).

Picture: Kay McDonald, chair of the Mercury Bay Seaside Carnival committee, during the carnival on Tuesday last week.


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