Thousands of people attend Alexandra's Blossom Festival

Thousands of people descended on Alexandra on Saturday for the Blossom Festival, one of the first big events held in the country after the latest round of lockdowns.

The big day included tractors, blossoms, facepaint, blossoms, dogs - and more blossoms.

Kiwis came in from far and wide, making the most of level 1 freedoms.

One group made it all the way down to the festival from Nelson.

"We're down from Nelson actually, this is a Nelson car," they said.

"Makes up for the last couple of months that's been going on for everybody so it's really nice."

Event organiser Martin McPherson was almost in tears after managing to pull off the country's first big community event after the recent lockdowns.

"This is just magic. I'm getting quite emotional," he said. "One year's work, huge crowds, weather gods are on our side." 

McPherson is thankful for the festival attendees: "Thanks guys, thanks for coming out."

The small central Otago town tripled in size with more than 15,000 descending on it for the spring festivities.

"People are just so pleased to be out and about mingling with their families, enjoying the atmosphere, the entertainment," McPherson said. "This is a post-COVID party here in Alexandra."

The weather came to the party today but locals are awaiting the coming storm.

"Beautiful today for the Blossom Fest as usual," an attendee said. "But it may be winter wonderland tomorrow."

And that's concerning for the local horticulture industry.

McPherson hopes the horticulture industry gets the same luck as he did when it comes to the weather conditions.

"It's always a worry when you get snow and hail, I've had my fingers and toes crossed for this all so I'm now crossing my fingers and toes for the orchardists, that they get some decent weather."

But that's tomorrow's problem, with the thousands attending the Blossom Festival certainly enjoying the not-so-calm before the storm.