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Sumner, Christchurch, East Coast, South Island, New Zealand. All photos: @jonathansmitnz

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Sumner’s best weekend of the year returns! - The Single Fin Mingle 202

30 March 21


Next month, Sumner is set to host its annual and globally renowned Traditional Longboarding Festival - The Single Fin Mingle. As more than 100 of the world’s best longboarders roll into town, Sumner is readying itself for a jampacked, frolicsome and morale boosting weekend full of grooving and of course, surfing!

From Thursday the 8th of April – until Sunday the 11th of April, the sleepy surf suburb will well and truly be awoken and buzzing like no other time of year!

For those unfamiliar with the festival, you’d be forgiven to assume a dating event is about to hit town. “On the contrary”, says founder and Sumner local, Ambrose McNeill; “The event is a multi-faceted surfing festival that celebrates traditional longboarding and the joyous culture of art, music and film that surrounds it.” 

It only takes a short stroll through the competition to realise this is no ordinary contest - with smooth jazz music being amplified into the ocean, hot tubs for competitors and fresh coffee and food being served with lounge chairs lining the Esplanade.

The special and unbreakable surfing community creates an unmatchable and infectious atmosphere for surfers and non-surfers alike to sit back, relax and watch the world-class surfing unfold.

Although the competition is a focal point of the weekend, it’s only a small part of what the weekend entails. On Thursday and Friday night, contestants pack out the iconic Hollywood Cinema where a beautiful selection of surfing films are showcased. And then come the events that make the Mingle a one-of-a-kind festival.

Friday night will see the ‘Sumner Soiree’ come to life, featuring local Christchurch band There’s a Tuesday and Auckland’s Joe Ghatt. Then after Saturday’s surfing, the Sumner village car-park will turn into a makeshift vibrant venue for the night, hosting ‘The Village Knees Up’ featuring a star-studded lineup with Auckland’s Molly and the Chromatics and Christchurch’s own Jed Parsons and Jack Page.

As the Mingle grows, it’s becoming more and more entrenched in the Sumner community, with store owners within Sumner banding together to help create an event firmly on the calendars of many. 

 “The Single Fin Mingle is a celebration of the Sumner community - there are very few events that span age, gender and culture like The Mingle does,” says Trevor Hone, local builder and emphatic supporter of the event.

Sure, Bledisloe Cup finals are great, as are the local school fairs. But as a fast growing group of Sumner locals will tell you – there is no better weekend of the year than that of The Single Fin Mingle. 

- Montana Purchase at mediaforthemingle@gmail.com

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