The fifth biennial Katikati Mural Contest and Arts Festival starts today.

A grand opening was to be staged this morning, with six artists starting to paint their murals across the small town.

The murals would be painted according to this year's festival theme of "the natural treasure of New Zealand".

Event organiser Jacqui Night said there would be something for everyone across the week, with several events each day, including an arts and craft trail, photography contest display and lunchtime street performers.


There would also be lots of information on Katikati Open-Air Art and its 25-year history, she said.

"Every day there is over 20 different things for people to come and see, and do and look at. Every day there is something special, tonight there is a snow dumping in Katikati."

On Thursday night there would be an outdoor movie, Footrot Flats, and on Saturday there was a market day with more than 40 stalls, mostly arts and crafts, she said.

This year the festival is expected to draw thousands to the area during the week after heavy advertising in the Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato. However, the Saturday market would be the biggest event with professional street performers and buskers, she said.

"There is lots of interactive things for people to do."

For more information on Katikati Open-Air Art and the festival visit their website here.