Christchurch, NZ: Christchurch noodle markets attract thousands

By Abbie Napier  |  Stuff.co.nz

Festival-goers queued for more than an hour, stallholders ran out of food and traffic jams snaked out of Hagley Park as thousands turned out for the opening night of the Night Noodle Markets in Christchurch.

Festival management had hoped 40,000 people would attend over the course of the five-night event, and estimated about 9000 people had passed through the gates by 7pm last night.

Some vendors sold out quickly due to heavy demand.

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Pot Sticker Dumpling Bar owner Sam Hooper said the festival atmosphere had been “awesome”.

Fairfax Media national events co-ordinator Brett McMeekin said opening night problems caused by high demand would be solved by Thursday.

“We have to remember these vendors are going through the first night of the first festival of its kind in New Zealand,” he said.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response and understand we’ve had a few first night issues with queues. On Thursday, we have plenty of car parking from Harper Ave and we have asked the 26 food vendors to ‘staff-up’ to reduce queue time.”

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The markets have been running in Australia for almost 20 years.

“This is an awesome event. Canterbury has supported it and we are so pleased to have bought the Night Noodle Markets to Christchurch first,” McMeekin said.

“We are replicating the bustling back streets of Singapore and Hong Kong and it has been a huge success with another four nights to go.”

The Christchurch City Council has agreed to allow parking in North Hagley to ease congestion in surrounding streets and vendors would increase their stocks.

Parking will be available onsite from Thursday to Sunday. Access is via Harper Ave at a cost of $5, which will be donated to a local volunteer charity and the Botanical Gardens.

Comments on social media were divided with some people saying they were happy to wait and others saying they left early when queues became too long.

Many people at the market said they had expected long wait times and were pleased seating, shade and picnic space had been provided.

More than 25 stalls and food trucks were on site showcasing the wide range of Asian food Canterbury has to offer.

The Night Noodle Market is open in North Hagley Park 5pm-10pm February 11 and 12, and 2pm-10pm February 13-14. 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/76758448/Christchurch-noodle-markets-attract-thousands