Persistant rain led to the Art Deco Trust shifting two previously marquee-based events and has led to the cancellation of the traditional Friday evening air display over Marine Parade.

Art Deco Festival director Glen Pickering said while everything was set to go ahead at this stage the belts of heavy rain had affected the Tremains Marquee on the lower lawn of the Marine Parade which meant tonight's Beach Banquet event scheduled for 7.30 and tomorrow morning's Dilmah High Tea Affair, scheduled for 10am, were being moved to the Centennial Events Centre at McLean Park off Vigor Brown St.

"We have had to change the location but they are still going ahead."

Mr Pickering said there would be free bus services from the Tom Parker Fountain to the events centre from 6.50 tonight, but they were unfortunately not able to do the return trip after the event.


And the usual "start location" walk from Tom Parker Fountain down through town to the Depression Dinner at Memorial Square would now begin at the site itself, given rain forecasts.

The only cancellation at this stage had been the arrival of classic aircraft, inlcuding the Warbirds Harvards which had been scheduled to take place over the Marine Parade at 7.30 tonight.

Poor visibility and rain across the central North Island, and over Napier, meant the Harvards, as well at the Spitfire, Kittyhawk, Mustang and Tiger Moths would not be arriving today.

"This means no display over the parade tonight," Napier Aero Club spokesman Dave Nash said, although if the weather were to start showing signs of improvement over the next 24 hours things could change.

"They will try to come through tomorrow and both groups will try for a display over the parade hopefully on Saturday- possibly in the evening - but again that depends on their arrival and weather conditions," Mr Nash said.

The Napier Aero Club and Art Deco Trust which had worked to get the aircraft to Napier were disappointed but accepted that there was nothing they could do about the weather.

Mr Pickering said a decision on the Big Sounds Tonight concert which had been scheduled to kick off at the Sound Shell at 8.15 tonight would be made at 5pm.

At this stage, with forecast easing of conditions, Saturday's big vintage car parade through the central city was all on.

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