It may be the middle of winter in July, but Geraldine, a picturesque village in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, promises to give you a warm and friendly welcome. Geraldine Ukefest brings the whole town to life over the four-day festival - The Big Strum, Ukes in Cafes, Workshops, Concerts, OpenMics - providing plenty of learning and performance opportunities. Rated one of the top six ‘not-to-be-missed’ ukulele festivals by Ukulele Magazine in their Summer 2016 issue, Geraldine Ukefest is guaranteed to have something for everyone.
The winter Ukefest has been running since 2013 and has grown exponentially each year with ukulele enthusiasts travelling from around the world to attend alongside hundreds of Kiwis.
Today was closing day, with a final concert at the church this morning followed by an informal gathering at the local pub. Since we're not regular pub goers (or, for that matter, church goers), it was a fine chance to stroll over, soak up some ambiance, and sing along. I think these uke people have a lot of fun.
This friendly woman is one of a dozen or so staying in our campground. There are all kinds of people walking around here with uke cases, heading off for their workshops. She was excited to see us at the pub event, since I'd stopped her this morning and asked for the location. "A lot of people came straight from church to the pub," she told me with a naughty wink.
Afterward, a flat white at this pretty cafe, Verde.
I bought Talbot Forest red deer milk havarti from a shop here. It's yummy. Here's the back story.
A sweet history museum beckoned on a rainy day.
Geraldine in earlier times.
We're here tomorrow, too, for work and then a good walk along the river.