Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Bay set to buzz this Anniversary Weekend

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Colour Splash is back this weekend at Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui. Malia McGuire, 6, enjoyed last year's festivities in the park. Photo/File
Colour Splash is back this weekend at Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui. Malia McGuire, 6, enjoyed last year's festivities in the park. Photo/File

Tens of thousands of people are expected to pour into the Bay this Anniversary Weekend, many sure to take advantage of the huge line-up of events on offer.

Petrol-heads and adrenalin junkies will be in heaven with the ENZED 2106 UIM Jetsprint World Championship Finals at Baypark Stadium and the Eastern Region Surf Life Saving Championships at the Main Mount Beach. Foodies too will be in raptures with the annual outdoor On the Lawn Food and Wine Feastival at Blake Park on Sunday. The annual Colour Splash is also taking place at Coronation Park on Saturday.

With accommodation booked solid across the Bay, Tourism Bay of Plenty spokeswoman Kristin Dunne said the busy long weekend would be a real boost to local business and economy.

"As well as several major events to choose from, there is even something for fur babies with Bark in the Park. Add to that the opportunity to chill at Soak'n Sunday Sounds at the hot pools or watch a live Shakespeare performance or outdoor movie, there really is plenty for everyone."

On the Lawn event director Rachelle Duffy said they were welcoming back "a stellar line-up of breweries and wineries which will be showcasing their latest creations and talking directly to enthusiasts from the dedicated tasting tent".

That included Good George trialling a special chocolate-inspired beer, well-known brands Tuatara Beer, Zeffer Cider and award-winning Mount Brewing Co, showcasing more than 30 different beers and ciders, she said.

Mrs Duffy said: "It's all very exciting. Ticket sales are going well, and we're expecting guests from all over the Central North Island to make the most of the long weekend.

"We hope to get a crowd of about 5000 people to come along, about the same number who attended last year."

ENZED 2016 UIM Jetsprint World Championships Final organiser Erik Hoeksema said the internationally recognised event had attracted a crowd of about 18,000 last year, and he expected similar numbers this year."The competition is going to be savage.

"Seeing some of these boats racing around the track, it even put the hairs up on back of my neck."

Once again the event would be live-streamed around the world.

Erik Hoeksema, Jetsprints organiser,  and volunteer Owen Miller. Photo / John Borren
Erik Hoeksema, Jetsprints organiser, and volunteer Owen Miller. Photo / John Borren

Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said he would be attending at least two of the events this weekend - the Jetsprints and the Surf Life Saving Championships at Mount Main Beach.

"It's a very busy weekend overall with a large portfolio of events which is great news for the city. There is two main elements to this.

"Firstly it does bring a lot more visitors to the city, and that brings extra money into the local economy.

"The other benefit is that it enhances city pride with many locals attending a large number of these events and that also helps to attract more promoters to want to hold their events in the city.

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Ross Paterson said events such as the Surf Life Saving Champs and the Jet Sprints showed the growing popularity of the region as an event destination.

Weather watch:

* Saturday: High of 27C, low of 19C. Showers becoming heavier in the afternoon.

* Sunday: High of 25C, low of 18C. Fine spells with a chance of afternoon or evening showers.

* Monday: High of 24C, low of 18C. Mainly fine

Source: Metservice

- Bay of Plenty Times

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