Grow Ōtautahi, Christchurch’s very own Garden Festival, will return in 2021 – with dates locked-in for the free, three-day festival celebrating gardening, homegrown food, sustainability and education.
Organisers confirmed today the Festival will be held 12-14 March 2021 in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The 2020 event was cancelled just days before it was due to launch due to pandemic restrictions.
Festival Director Sandi MacRae says the cancellation of what would have been the first-ever Grow Ōtautahi was a huge disappointment to everyone involved, but it was unavoidable.
“We believe Christchurch needs this Festival. We want to come back strong in 2021 with a Festival that reflects the Garden City’s love of gardening, our interest in sustainability and environmental awareness and our emphasis on homegrown food for the whole family.
“Everyone involved in the 2020 event went above and beyond, giving their time, resources and financial support to bring the concept to life. We’re incredibly disappointed for all of our sponsors and partners that the event wasn’t able to go ahead, so we’re working extra hard now to make 2021 a huge success.”
Grow Ōtautahi is run by the Christchurch Garden Festival Trust and is not-for-profit. Entry will be free to the public and any returns in future events will be used to create scholarships through local education providers. The 2020 event was to be the first-ever Grow festival.
“We are so grateful to all our sponsors – in particular presenting partner Lincoln University – and to all our partners and supporters who gave their time to make the concept a reality.
“I’d also like to acknowledge all of the local schools who were a part of the Festival – many of whom kept working to create their gardens and realise their efforts, even when we knew the 2020 event would not go ahead. Thanks also to our exhibition garden designers Bayley Luu Tomes and Billygoat Landscape Architecture who completed their designs so we could glimpse what a future festival would look like.
“We can’t wait for 2021 when we’ll bring an exciting, innovative garden festival to the Garden City.”
Photo: Bayley Luu Tomes completed his exhibition garden for 2020