Art Deco in Napier

The city of Napier was nearly destroyed by a huge earthquake on February 3, 1931. Naturally, they rebuilt much of it in the prevailing style of the day: Art Deco. And in 1985, they created an Art Deco Trust, which helps to preserve, protect, and promote Napier’s Art Deco heritage.

Every year, they hold an Art Deco Festival, complete with vintage cars, air shows, music of the 1930s, and thousands of visitors, quite a few of whom cosplay the weekend – and our visit today coincided with the festival.

We saw part of the airshow while we were waiting for our shuttle bus into town.

Our bus dropped us at the War Memorial Centre; we went across the street for a delicious lunch at the Portside Bar, then walked over to the Marine Parade Gardens to look at the festival. Our first stop was the Tom Parker Fountain, done up in proper Art Deco style.

Diane and I wandered around the town taking in the scene.

Clyde Square was used as a temporary shopping area after the earthquake; today, it’s a popular gathering place just outside the main shopping area. It boasts a fountain with impressive water lillies.

We returned to Marine Parade Gardens by way of Emerson Street.

There were many vintage cars and trucks in town for the festival. Some had been imported from countries where people drive on the right side of the road, like this vintage Texaco fuel truck with South Carolina plates.

You could make a small donation to ride up and down the street in one of the vintage cars…or in this steam-driven people mover.

There were a couple of biplanes chasing each other above the coastline; I don’t think they were carrying passengers.

We walked out to the Viewing Platform to enjoy the beach and ocean views, then took a bus back to the ship.

Ralph Harris was the headliner for the evening’s entertainment; he was very, very funny; his show ended just in time for us to enjoy the last of the sunset.