Kawhia Kai Festival, 6 Feb 2010, Kawhia

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Thousands of traditional food baskets woven for Kawhia Kai Festival

More than 2,500 traditional kono food baskets have been woven from flax in preparation for this years K?whia Kai Festival on February 6.

Kono made from harakeke are the traditional way Maori served food and they will once again be used to serve up portions of delicious hangi this weekend, says Festival organiser, Lloyd Whiu.

It was great to see families getting together to weave food baskets as it is chance for them to pass on traditional weaving knowledge to the children but also to get together and have a good korero , explains Lloyd.

All the harakeke was sourced locally in Kawhia which is renowned with weavers for its sturdy variety.

This years Festival is expecting 10,000 visitors and will have five food stalls offering hangi. A further 20 food stalls will be offering other traditional and contemporary Maori food such as Toroi (marinated mussels and puha), Creamed Paua and Kina, Inanga (Whitebait patties), Kanga Wai/Pirau (fermented corn), Puh? and pork spring rolls, Pawhara (smoked fish and eel) as well as the local Waikato delicacy – Koki (shark liver pate).

There will also be more than 20 displaying traditional Maori arts & crafts such as weaving, carving and tattooing.

Two stages will be providing entertainment throughout the one-day Festival running from 9am until 5pm held to celebrate Waitangi Day. The MC will be entertainer, broadcaster and sports commentator Dale Husband of Ngati Hikairo and Hauraki descent.

The headline act will be Moana and The Tribe, and back by popular demand are OnThaOne, Shine Forum, Kotuku Entertainers along with Children of The Mist, Vibe and highly reputable kapahaka groups, Mata-Waka and N?era

Food stalls and entertainment will be centered around the idyllic Omimiti Park reserve on the shores of Kawhia Harbour on the west coast of the North Island. The Festival will open at 9am on Saturday, February 6, with a mihi whakatau welcome and blessing.

General admission is $5 with children under 5 free, while a family pass for two adults and four children will cost $15.

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