Napier Art Deco Festival

In this article...

There are few events that so wonderfully encapsulate the spirit, style, and elegance of a bygone era, like Art Deco Weekend in Napier.

For those unfamiliar with it, the Art Deco Weekend is a unique, yearly event that pays homage to Napier’s resilience and cultural resurgence following the devastating earthquake of 1931. Today, it offers a vibrant and immersive journey to the Roaring 20s and the Fabulous 30s.

A Snapshot of Art Deco Weekend

The Art Deco Weekend typically occurs in February and features over 200 events that offer something for everyone. Visitors are greeted with a stunning visual treat. Napier, already renowned for its Art Deco, goes all out with vintage cars lining the streets, street parties, and attendees donned in period clothing to reflect the 1920s and 30s. The atmosphere is nothing short of jubilant nostalgia, from classic car parades, Great Gatsby picnics, outdoor concerts, and historical guided walks.

Exploring the Art Deco Capital

Napier’s transformation into an Art Deco-style city in the 1930s was a testament to the town’s determination to rebuild and move forward following the tragic earthquake. Now, as you stroll down the seafront Marine Parade or the city’s enchanting streets, the Art Deco spirit is palpable. But during the Art Deco Weekend, the city doesn’t just showcase the architecture—it revives the era.

Highlights of the Weekend

The festivities kick off with a bang—a classic car parade featuring over 100 vintage vehicles that roar down the streets of Napier. But that’s just the beginning. Other can’t-miss events include:

  • The Prohibition Party: Channel your inner gangster or flapper for this event that recreates the illicit fun of a 1920s speakeasy.
  • The Great Gatsby Picnic: A grand picnic where attendees show off their Deco style, complete with vintage picnic paraphernalia.
  • The Soap Box Derby: Relive the childhood thrill of racing down the hill in a home-built cart.
  • The outdoor concerts: Swing to the rhythm of jazz tunes from the era.

Why You Should Experience Art Deco Weekend

Aside from the stunning visuals and the lively events, the real charm of the Art Deco Weekend lies in the sense of community, the shared love for history, and the spirited celebration of Napier’s resilience. The event allows the city and its visitors to unite and celebrate a significant part of their cultural identity.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, a fan of the roaring 20s and 30s, or someone who loves a good time, the Art Deco Weekend in Napier is a must-visit. So, dig out your best flapper dress or dust off your fedora, and join us as we take a step back in time and celebrate in style!

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