It seems only a few years ago that the only big event on the calendar was Round the Bays.

Even if the weather can be unpredictable, it's good to be in Auckland at this time of the year.

Every weekend brings a new event, some familiar, some rapidly establishing their place on the social calendar as the city grows and diversifies.

Today thousands will probably brave the showers and flock to the 25th Pasifika Festival at Western Springs, which has become an institution among Pacific and Palagi visitors alike.

So has the Lantern Festival, which began as a traditional Chinese celebration in Albert Park but has been so enthusiastically embraced by all Aucklanders that it had to move to more spacious grounds in the Domain.


The Pride Festival has also outgrown its original base and attracts a mixed gay and straight crowd, as well as many companies keen to show their support for the pink dollar.

It seems only a few years ago that the only major event on the city's social calendar was Round the Bays.

These days we have a line-up which kicks off on Auckland Anniversary Day with alternative music at the Laneway Festival (now comfortably settled in Albert Park) and includes those listed above, plus Splore at Tapapakanga Regional Park and the now-annual Auckland Arts Festival.

On top of that there are regular sporting fixtures and one-off concerts, mixed with the city's natural attractions which can be enjoyed at any time.

The result is we are often spoilt for choice. Only a few weekends ago, Aucklanders could enjoy a sunny day out at the beach followed by either a visit to Bruce Springsteen at Mt Smart or the Pride Festival.

This weekend Adele is sold out but you could still follow up your trip to Pasifika with a visit to see the Blues play the Bulls at Albany or an early performance of Shakespeare's As You Like It at the Pop Up Globe theatre in Ellerslie. The very energetic and culturally diverse could possibly manage all three.

Of course, not everything always goes to plan and Auckland's unpredictable weather plays a big part in that. The whole world now knows that Serena Williams didn't like the wind at the ASB Classic in January.

Rain played havoc with the Auckland Cup this year and may have had a dampening effect on the Arts Festival too.

The city's traffic jams can make getting around a nightmare and public transport is still not good enough to cope with really big events, as Auckland found to its cost in the train debacle at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

As for having a decent, multi-purpose stadium in the right place - new mayor Phil Goff is trying hard but only a supreme optimist would expect to see his waterfront dream realised any time soon.

Yet despite all our public bickering, Aucklanders and visitors to the city seem to be loving all the new opportunities on offer, including the less obviously populist.

Last year's Pop Up Globe succeeded beyond everyone's expectations and the upcoming Readers and Writers Festival attracted 65,000 visitors last year.

Next month the Comedy Festival will be back and we will get to show our support for the Masters Games, which involves 25,000 athletes in 28 sports. It's probably asking too much to expect a few back-to-back victories from the Blues or the Warriors by then.