Each November, the Grey Lynn Park Festival attracts thousands of people, all keen to make the most of the early summer sunshine. Many people bring their picnic blankets and kick back to enjoy the line up of live acts. And when they get hungry, there is a wide range of ethnic food to choose from including that favourite kiwi staple, the pie. There are also many stalls with a wide range of clothing and crafts, all New Zealand-made so a great excuse for some Christmas shopping.
Picnics and Live Music
The Grey Lynn Park Festival attracts people from all over Auckland so it’s impossible that you won’t meet someone that you know. I, myself, met an old school friend at the festival last year. So when deciding this year where to have a small reunion with some of our old school friends, the festival seemed like a great idea because so many Aucklanders visit the festival. And the reunion was a success.
The wide range of live music makes the festival a great place to picnic. Families come along with full picnic baskets in tow. Friends meet for a catch up over a cider or sauvignon. It’s even possible for couples to enjoy a romantic picnic-style date. And if one gets restless, little encouragement is required to get up and dance to the live samba music.
New Zealand Food
Food is always one of the best things about festivals – at last those ones that feature more than stock standard hot dogs and candy floss. Whilst hot dogs and candy floss are perennial favourites, the Grey Lynn Park Festival is guaranteed to have some great ethic food. Enjoy some Pacific Island flavours with palusami and taro, or some classic New Zealand specialties like Whitebait fritters and skewered prawns.
The Grey Lynn Park Festival has been operating for 26 years and one of the foods that I’ve come to associate with it, especially on hot days, are the half pineapples filled with scoops of delicious ice cream. It’s a Grey Lynn Park Festival favourite. It’s inevitable that sticky fingers will follow as the ice cream melts faster than you can eat it, but that’s part of the experience.
New Zealand-Made Clothing and Crafts
It can be hard to find places that exclusively promote New Zealand-made clothing and crafts so the Grey Lynn Park Festival is a great place to find New Zealand designers, artists, craftsmen, cooks, winemakers etc. all in the one place. If I wasn’t on a strict budget I could have had so much more fun today.
There are all manner of New Zealand-inspired home décor gifts either for yourself or someone else for Christmas. For example, there are chunky wooden toys made from macrocarpa, carved punga tree trunks perfect for the garden, and pretty resin tikis and chocolate fish keyrings. Sculptors sit and sand pumice stones to create outdoor mobiles that look like fish. Funky modern art with scenes of typical New Zealand life and icons of kiwiana are readily available. There is something for everyone.
Grey Lynn Park Festival
The Grey Lynn Park Festival is free to enter, runs between 9am – 6pm, and is on a Saturday usually in November. It’s a community festival that celebrates community diversity. This is evidence by the live music, family atmosphere, and kiwi-inspired entertainment, crafts, and food.