Growing up, Pato Alvarez always dreamed of having a big birthday party.
Although he never got to experience one of his own as a child, he organises a large-scale kids party every year to make sure those in the community get to enjoy a big celebration.
It's one of the reasons the Tauranga promoter puts on the Pato Entertainment Kids' Day Out - an annual family-friendly celebration of music and fun for the Tauranga community.
In its fourth year in 2020, the March 7 event moves to a bigger venue to cater to the growing number of attendees and will feature Tauranga's own music star Stan Walker, young Kiwi pop star General Fiyah, comedian Jimmy Jackson, with guest appearances from Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Shimmer and Shine, Baby Shark. There will also be free bouncy castles, kids' activities, food and treats.
"I never really had a birthday party when I was a kid, we didn't have much, so I'm like a big kid myself and I feel doing this is kind of my birthday parties that I didn't have," Alvarez says.
The event started as the Arataki Day Out at Arataki Park with up to 1000 kids. Alvarez says the following year about 2000 people attended and last year, more than 3000 people turned out. While the Arataki community is still a big part of the event, it has had to move to a bigger and more centralised space at Mount Maunganui's Soper Reserve.
"We want to make it an event that covers the whole city, Mount, Papamoa, Tauranga."
He says seeing the smiles on children's faces and being able to provide an event that would normally cost about $40, at no cost was the highlight.
"Music should be for everyone, but not everyone can afford to go to the events. This is my way of giving back to all the kids who deserve a day of great happiness and good vibes, to create memories that will last forever.
"I can't wait to bring this kids party again for the fourth year into our community with one of our biggest lineups ever headlined by Stan Walker, who is also a local guy and one of the biggest acts in the music scene ... he was super keen to get involved straight away."
Alvarez says while the event itself is free, attendees are asked for a gold coin donation that will be given to a charity focused on improving mental health - something he's very passionate about.
"I have big plans for 2020 to get more involved in helping mental health as I think it is big issue in our country and this will be a small part of us giving back to people who are helping people with mental health."
The Kids Day Out, held towards the end of festival season, is also a way for the Pato Entertainment owner to celebrate at the end of a busy summer.
With his business partners Mitch Lowe and Toby Burrows, the trio have brought some of the world's biggest names in music to the city in the past such as Cardi B, Bryan Adams, Tyga, The Jacksons, UB40 and Toto to name a few. Bay Dreams on January 2 featured Tyler the Creator, Halsey, Spectre Yelawolf and more, preceding next weekend's reggae festival One Love featuring Sean Paul and Shaggy and the February 29 Ben Harper and Matt Corby Mount Maunganui show as part of their 2020 New Zealand Tour.
"It is busy and the teamwork so hard all summer but we love what we do, bringing music to the people, puts not just dollars into the community but spreads happiness and good vibes in our city."
Kids' Day Out:
WHAT: Pato Entertainment Kids 'Day Out.
When: Saturday, March 7, 12-5pm.
Where: Soper Reserve.
How: Gold coin entry.
Featuring: Stan Walker, General Fiyah, Jimmy Jackson, with appearances from Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Shimmer and Shine, Baby Shark.