The first stage of work on the waterfront is finished. To celebrate, Tauranga City Council and Downtown Tauranga plan an opening extravaganza on Sunday, September 23. The event is free and will be followed by events and activities over the coming summer and autumn that are designed to showcase the waterfront and the city centre.
Mayor Stuart Crosby says the waterfront redevelopment will create a dynamic open space in the city centre that can be used for a whole range of activities.
"Now we have a spectacular area that can cater for festivals and large and small events and help draw people into the city centre," he says.
The official ceremony is at 2.30pm and will be followed by an afternoon and evening of entertainment closing with a fireworks display by Van Tiel Pyrotechnics, sponsored by Downer. Van Tiel Pyrotechnics has managed Tauranga's New Year's Eve displays for the last seven years and were also involved in the fireworks display in Auckland for the Rugby World Cup. The fireworks will be set off from a barge moored in front of the main waterfront area.
ANZ ambassadors and Olympic gold medallists Eric Murray and Hamish Bond will be in the ANZ area for the afternoon to meet fans and sign autographs. Eric and Hamish won their golds at the London 2012 Olympics in the men's rowing pairs.
The activities and entertainment for the opening celebrations include:
The Little Big Markets
Hairy Maclary readings and activities and the launch of the Hairy Maclary look-a-like competition
Pirates of the Pacific theatre production
Meet Eric Murray & Hamish Bond, ANZ-sponsored Olympic gold medallists
Music from local musicians The Mile, Luke Thompson, Lydia Cole and Oh Mary
Waterfront fireworks extravaganza
In addition, the Tauranga Acoustic Music Club will be playing at the Cargo Shed for the day. The YMCA will be running fun activities for the kids such as face painting and a treasure hunt on the waterfront.
While the kids are amused, shoppers can browse the stalls in the Little Big Markets, which owner Rachelle Duffy is bringing all the way from the Mount for the day. She says the 50 stalls will range from vintage clothing to food. "We will be there until the evening to give people a taste of the experience of day markets and night markets."
The Spring Street Parking Building will be open for the day and it will be free to park there. Please note that there will be no parking on the waterfront on the day.
Note: If the weather is wet the opening celebration will be postponed until Sunday, September 30. Listen to MORE FM for postponement details.
For more information on the Waterfront Opening Celebration please see: www.tauranga.govt.nz