The Picton Maritime Festival is a FREE family oriented event, celebrating the unique maritime heritage of Picton and the Marlborough Sounds. Founded in 2005 the aim of this event is to bring the community together, and to enable our children to learn about the region's heritage in a fun and participatory way. The event also provides a valuable opportunity for whanau and friends to spend time together without the burden or barriers of having to pay expensive entry fees.
The Picton Maritime Festival Committee is currently preparing for its nineteenth annual event in 2024. Each festival entertains around 6000 people. From humble beginnings, it has developed each year into an event which now holds its own place on the calendar.
The dedicated group of committee members, are each responsible for specific aspects of the event, from sourcing and securing sponsorship and funding, to set up, operation and picking up that last piece of rubbish when the event is over. We meet on a monthly basis, discussing opportunities for improvement and value to the community, and each go away armed with task lists to complete in preparation. Each of the committee recruits a number of supportive volunteers (many of whom are husbands, wives, partners, children and extended family members) to man and operate their various aspects of the event, guiding, leading, and seeking input for ideas and strategies.
Apart from providing opportunities for families to spend valuable time together, and strengthening the bonds within the community, there are a number of other organisations which benefit from either participation in the event or from funds raised. Organisations such as the Picton Volunteer Fire Brigade, Picton Clinker & Classic Boat Club, Papatuanuku Independency Trust, The Cancer Society and Endeavour Park Pavilion Society, have opportunities to raise funds through participation in the event and other groups such as local sports clubs, Picton Kindergarten and Picton Playcentre all have opportunities for fundraising and many bank on the opportunity to have a stall at the Maritime festival each year to support their members.
Funds raised by the Picton Maritime Festival Trust are subsequently distributed back into the community to support local initiatives for a direct bearing upon local youth and families.
In addition to all this, we feel it is also important that the younger generation can see that great things can happen when you set your mind to something. That not everything is about how much you can get paid to do something and that there are huge benefits for the community when you roll up your sleeves and get involved as a volunteer!