Patea ready to party at annual park festival

By Lin Ferguson

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ALL GO: Paepae in the Park organising committee secretary Mareta Marsters-Grubner is ready for the big event. INSET: The crowd at an earlier Paepae in the Park in Patea.
ALL GO: Paepae in the Park organising committee secretary Mareta Marsters-Grubner is ready for the big event. INSET: The crowd at an earlier Paepae in the Park in Patea.

Patea is ready to welcome the annual thousands at Paepae in the Park on Saturday with a wider variety of music to celebrate Waitangi Day, 2016.

Organising committee secretary Mareta Marsters-Grubner said the day kicks off at 9am and the music throughout the day will include "country and western, old school music, hip-hop, reggae, Motown, digital pop loop, and local soloists".

The committee has decided to have a variety of music this year, not only reggae, she said.

Last week, Mareta spoke at a meeting of the Patea Community Board to thank the board and the South Taranaki District Council for the annual funding grant of $10,000 needed to pay for the stage, sound and backline (band equipment) necessary to present a top-quality, professional music festival.

She asked that the board consider building a soundshell in Patea similar to the one in Napier.

"It could be a permanent fixture or a temporary moveable item. I know it would be widely used by community groups and outside groups. It would be a huge asset."

The board are investigating the possibility of a soundshell and the concept will go forward to council's next Annual Plan, she said.

The opening act on Saturday will be Harmoney Showdown from Whanganui with their interpretation of "old school" music which everyone will love, Mareta said.

Taranaki band Ghost Chips will star as the only reggae band on board with the Patea Hip Hop Crew featuring performers from Patea, and Whanganui singer Jojo Kuvarji returning with new band Kuvarji and the Marakai sisters Dawn and Ebony.

Country music legend Dennis Marsh and his band Linedancers, will be the main act at this year's festival and Patea's Kahurangi Whakatutu returns this year to sing solo.

Food highlights include three hangi with around 20 other food stalls including mussel, whitebait and paua fritters to the "famous curly whirlies" cooked every year by the Patea woman who created them, Mareta said.

"Curly whirlies are amazing. It's a frankfurter with potato dipped in batter wound around it, then deep fried ..."

At midday the crowd will be "stopped in its tracks when the fabulous Patea Maori Club takes the stage", she said.

Paepae in the Park is at Memorial Park, Egmont St, Patea.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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