What's on this weekend

It's the world's biggest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world, and Pasifika celebrates its 24th birthday this year.
It's the world's biggest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world, and Pasifika celebrates its 24th birthday this year.

Wild things

Award-winning UK film-maker and founder of the international "Wild Thing" movement, David Bond, will lead Auckland children in an Amazing Race at Barry Curtis Park, Flat Bush, to celebrate National Parks Week, which finishes this weekend. "The Wild Network's mission is to help children re-learn how to roam free, play wild and connect with nature," says Bond, who is hosted by Auckland Council. Wild play is unstructured outdoor play, where children's imagination and exploratory skills are allowed to develop freely.

Today, 10am Stancombe Road Carpark, Barry Curtis Park, Flat Bush. Free.

Syria stories

Five years since the start of war in Syria, heartbreaking portraits of child brides, young men left scarred by war, and fathers fleeing with their children to Europe, are the stories of the victims of the war captured by photographer Jo Currie in an exhibition that opened this week.

To acknowledge the heartbreaking 5th anniversary of the war, World Vision is hosting a Q&A with Currie this weekend. Also on show will be a virtual reality film from inside Lebanon, letting you step into the lives of refugees.

Exhibition at Ponsonby Central until March 15 and in Te Wero Island containers, Eastern Viaduct, until March 13. Q&A, Sunday 3pm, in Ponsonby Central's Sapphire Room.

St Patrick's day

More than 100 St Patrick's Day parades will take place all over the world this year, but in Auckland the Fleadh (festival of Irish culture, pronounced "flar") and parade will begin a little earlier. In its 22nd year, the 2016 St Patrick's Festival Parade has changed venue to Ponsonby Rd. March 17 is St Patrick's Day, but this year will be celebrated this weekend instead, featuring Irish-inspired floats, traditional music and dancing and bands.

Tomorrow, the parade starts at the corner of Ponsonby Rd and Ponsonby Tce and ends at the corner of Ponsonby Rd and Crummer Rd. The Fleadh (music and dance display) is in Western Park, Ponsonby Rd from noon.

White night

Artist Tiffany Singh is collaborating with Auckland Museum and its visitors to create an artwork that brings a rainbow of light to the museum's atrium in celebration of Auckland's culture. Join the museum staff and Singh to share your wishes and blessings on a lantern and leave your mark on the installation. You'll also be paying your blessing forward, as Sunday's visitors will be invited to take a lantern away (subject to availability). Plus there's the added appeal of a complimentary glass of wine, for White Night visitors.

Today, 6pm-10pm, free with museum entry.

Pasifika

It's the world's biggest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world, and Pasifika celebrates its 24th birthday this year. The free, family-friendly festival presents the colourful sights, sounds and tantalising tastes of the Pacific in 11 villages representing different Pacific Island nations. There are more than 200 stallholders and around 300 performance groups and this year there'll be live traditional tattooing demonstrations using traditional Pacific Island methods of application. Each village features traditional and contemporary performances for the whole family alongside delicious food to sit back and savour.

Today (10am-5pm) and tomorrow (10am- 4pm), Western Springs Park./strong>

Poetic justice

Auckland's Underground Poetry troupe - Theoradical Hobohemians - are proud to present their third up and coming show, "Symposium" at The Gods, Mercury Theatre. This vaudeville-style concert is fast-paced and zany, including Beat Generation and Slam Poetry, visuals, acting and music.

Today, 8pm, Mercury Theatre, 9 Mercury Lane. Door sales. See online for details: theoradicalhobohemians.bigcartel.com

Auckland Cup Day

The week's biggest party ends with a bang at the weekend's biggest party. Auckland
Cup Day is the most prestigious day of thoroughbred horse racing in the New Zealand calendar and the pinnacle of Auckland Cup Week - a spectacular day of racing and fashion, with exquisite hospitality and entertainment.

Today, 10.30am-9pm (last race at 6.02pm), Ellerslie Racecourse, 80 Ascot Ave, Remuera.

Plan ahead

The ultimate waterman

For the next few weeks, around New Zealand, the search is on to find the world's best waterman. Eight of the world's best will descend on our shores to compete across eight disciplines. Big wave-surfing legend and underwater training guru Laird Hamilton returns as the ambassador for this event. New Zealand's own Daniel Kereopa will return to defend the title he won last year.

Today, Ultimate Paddle Day at Takapuna Beach. The Waka Ama endurance race starts at 9am. Public races throughout the day.

Flags of hope

Flags of hope
What are your hopes for your family, your future, your community, your nation? Paint from the heart on your own flag and fly it for everyone to see. Coloured paint and flags available for all ages - you provide the artistic inspiration. All flags will become part of a unique interactive public art installation. Come down to this free family event at the Taumanu Reserve on the Onehunga Foreshore, Orpheus Drive, Auckland.

March 18, 2pm-6pm; March 19, 10am-3pm; March 20, 10am-3pm

Comedy festival

In its 24th year, the 2016 NZ International Comedy Festival powered by Flick Electric Co promises to bring you some of the best international and local comedians from across the world. We believe that laughing matters and the 2016 programme, full of a wonderful variety of comedians, will make you do just that. So round up your mates and share good times watching live comedy.

April 22-May 15. For tickets and the full festival line-up, head to comedyfestival.co.nz

- Weekend magazine

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