Summer has arrived in Shanghai, just in time to bring perfectly pleasant weather with a refreshingly cool breeze to Wellington for its fourth annual Summer Festival event. This year a record-breaking number of pupils, parents, siblings, staff and assorted members of the Wellington community came together to enjoy this hugely anticipated highlight of our annual calendar.
Festival goers were met at the gate with leis and grass hula skirts, in keeping with this year’s theme of Aloha Hawaii – a theme which plenty of people embraced, wearing floral shirts, shorts, dresses and other assorted colourful clothing. Professional dancers and stilt-walkers in traditional Hawaiian hula dress, as well as the huge banner sporting the competition-winning logo designed by Natalie in year 8 completed the look and feel of a genuine Hawaiian summer celebration.
The festival’s opening ceremony literally went off with a bang, our Principal Eleanor Prescott set off an impressive show of pyrotechnics on the main stage which covered the crowd in confetti after delivering her opening address:
“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone gathered here. This is an incredible partnership between the Friends of Wellington and the College, and it would absolutely not be possible without the hundreds of parent and teacher volunteers. So thank you so much once again and have a fantastic festival!”
This sentiment was echoed by Maya Tarabay-Schisano, Friends of Wellington Event Coordinator:
“Thank you to everyone across the Wellington community who put this amazing event together, as well as our wonderful sponsors, I hope you all have so much fun today.”
Thanks to the always sterling efforts of both the staff and our growing number of vendors associated with the Summer Festival, everyone had the chance to enjoy plenty of new attractions mixed with many of our regular favourites. From the climbing wall, pony rides, reptile corner, the very popular new addition of the extreme balloon blaster (where competitors raced to blow up balloons with ACME dynamite-style air plungers!) mechanical surfboards, three different bouncy castles, and much more. There was a huge amount of fun to be had by attendees of all ages.
Alongside these activities, there were the classic crowd-pleaser fairground stalls such as the coconut shy, hook-a-duck, tin-can alley and the Somerset classic sport of ‘Welly Wanging’, all kindly run by staff, pupils and parents. The raffle and tombola, organised by Maggie Wan, were also in full swing with some fabulous prizes to be won. And of course, who could resist the urge to help their beloved teachers cool off by dunking them in icy water or soaking them with hurled wet sponges? We’re sure that all the ‘volunteering’ teachers were very grateful for this bit of light-hearted aquatic refreshment!
Whenever festivalgoers wanted to recharge their batteries or just take a break from the fun to grab a bite or a refreshing drink, the Tiki Lounge Food & Beverage line-up had them covered. Again, festival favourites mixed with welcome newcomers to offer everyone a fantastic feast of Italian, Mexican, Belgian, British, Vietnamese, Lebanese and New Zealand culinary treats.
Throughout the day, everyone could also enjoy the sometimes chilled, sometimes lively, but always excellent performances taking place on the main stage. From the Aloha Hawaii Island style opening performance from our guest professional dancers, to the sensational series of pupil performances, there was no shortage of entertainment to be had. These included musical ensembles from the CentreStage Academy attendees, as well as Latin Jazz numbers and a sterling performance from year 13’s Ken Lee, who is Wellington’s new Young Musician of the Year.
As is the case with each passing year, the Summer Festival has once again turned out to be a time for the whole of the Wellington community to come together, relax, socialise and celebrate all our hard work and achievements throughout the year. As Joe McKee commented:
“It’s important for any school community to find time to enjoy just being a community, through taking a well-deserved break from the daily routine. I’ve very much enjoyed my first Wellington Summer Festival and it’s been hugely heartening to see further evidence of just how welcoming and friendly this community is, and how much of a great time everyone has when we get together!”
We hope that you had a wonderful time at Summer Festival 2018 and thank you all once again for your incredible support and sense of community that always make this event such a pleasure to organise and enjoy.