Students throughout the region will have a chance to showcase their talent at Te Ahurei - Rotorua Primary Schools Kapa Haka Festival.
The week-long event opened last night at the Rotorua Convention Centre and will feature 30 groups from schools and kohanga from Rotorua, Horohoro, Reporoa and Upper Atiamuri.
Festival co-organiser Iwi Te Whau said it was to give young people an opportunity to be in the limelight.
"It's about showcasing our kids in the performing arts realm and as a festival it's about highlighting that our culture is alive and well," he said.
"It is also giving our children an opportunity to perform on a professional stage and in front of their parents, their nans and koroua as this is a generational thing, their parents have been a part of this as the festival has been going for over 30 years so it's eye-opening for us to not only embrace our culture but this heritage in Rotorua."
Mr Te Whau said the non-competitive event would not have been possible without the sponsorship from Te Puia- New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and support from the Rotorua District Council.
"The performances are at a very high calibre because their tutors are highly experienced who have performed at Te Matatini (national kapa haka competition)," he said.
The festival will run through to Friday starting at 5.30pm each night.
Tickets are $6 each and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the door.
Friday night's performance was likely to sell out, Mr Te Whau said.
Pukeroa Oruawhata Kohanga Reo kids perform at the opening.
Te Ahurei - Rotorua Primary Schools Kapa Haka Festival Programme:
5.30pm: Pukeroa Oruawhata Kohanga Reo, Te Kura o Malfroy, Glenholme School
7.30pm: Otonga School, Westbrook School, Te Kura o Rotorua Intermediate
5.30pm: Ngongotaha Primary School, Aorangi Primary School, Te Kura o te Koutu
7.30pm: Western Heights Primary School, Kaitao Middle School
5.30pm: Te Kura o te Whakarewarewa, Reporoa Primary School, Te Kura o Totera
7.30: Te Kura o Ngati Rongomai, Te Kura o Ruamata, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hurunga te Rangi
5.30pm: Whangamarino School, Rotokawa School, Te Tokotoru a Manawa Kotokoto
7.30pm: Te Kura o Lynmore, Owhata Primary School, Te Kura o Mokoia Intermediate