February 18 – 22 will mark the 26th annual Tremain Art Deco Weekend held in Napier, on the North Island’s sunny east coast. ‘Weekend’ has become a misnomer – what was once a two day event has now swollen to a Wednesday through Sunday affair, and draws upwards of 40,000 visitors to the seaside city.
Napier is without a doubt New Zealand’s most suitable location for the five day time warp. In February 1931 the town was struck by a massive earthquake, which killed 256 people and leveled entire blocks of buildings. The reconstruction was completed in the popular fashions of the times, giving the “new” Napier a preponderance of Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical architecture. It is now recognised internationally as home to one of the foremost collections of Deco buildings in the world, and the Tremain Art Deco Weekend seeks to celebrate these monuments to the golden age of style, and pay tribute to the determination and optimism of the citizens who rebuilt the city.
In addition to the glamorous surroundings, the festival promises over 200 events and attractions, including steam train rides, live music, fashion shows, dances, theatrical performances, aircraft displays, movie screenings, tours, deco marketplaces, and even a soap box derby. Favourites are ‘Death by Chocolate’, an afternoon tea party for the chronically sweet-toothed, the free Gatsby Picnic, and of course the hundreds of vintage cars that make a pilgrimage to Napier every year.
To read the full program, read more about the Tremain Art Deco Weekend, or book tickets, see their website.