Celebrations and festivals in Russell have a chequer board past – here one minute and gone the next. Our clubs are a bit the same – overflowing with members one year, struggling to pay the bills the next. Maybe it’s inevitable in such a small community. Many of our volunteers have a whole wardrobe full of hats. Some festivals we just tag along with – Jazz & Blues, Country Rock, Arts. Other events are truly our own – Birdman, Walking Weekend, Battle of  Kororāreka, Festival of Talent, Hellhole, Kororāreka Kulture Fringe, Oyster, Tall Ships and now Matariki. Some will soar briefly like a phoenix while others become enduring fixtures. We can never know how it will be next year, but a festival is always fun for someone. No matter how quickly it’s over. This image is from the 1996 Oyster Festival.