Waipukurau's community spirit was overflowing today as both the town and primary school celebrated their 150th anniversaries.

The town was buzzing with both current and former residents enjoying celebrating both milestones, catching up and basking in the spring sun.

More than 600 people lined the footpaths of Ruataniwha St to experience the Waipukurau 150th Anniversary Street Parade and nearly 400 past pupils and families were expected to attend Waipukurau Primary School's 150th jubilee.

The parade had people in period costume, horse and carts, vintage cars and fire engines as well as different floats.


Organiser Gerard Minehan said he was pleased to have so many people support the celebrations and the perfect weather certainly helped.

"I'm very happy with the crowd."

The parade was special for two former Waipukurau residents Brian Holmes and John Fulford who bumped into each other on the street after many years.

Their fathers had started Fulford and Holmes, a menswear store on Ruataniwha St, which is now Story's Clothing.

Mr Fulford, who now lives in Te Awamutu, said he could remember working at the store during the Christmas holidays.

Mr Holmes, who lives in Coromandel, said he was a bit younger when his father had the store but could remember going into the back room for cups of tea.

The pair were in Waipukurau for the town's anniversary celebrations and were also attending the Waipukurau Primary School jubilee.

Waipukurau Primary School 150th Birthday Celebrations started with an official ceremony and cake cutting at 1.30pm and will finish tonight with an evening dinner function.

One of the organisers Lynlee Johnson said people from all over the country had registered to attend the celebrations.

Having the town anniversary on the same day was a bonus and some of the oldest past-pupils were able to ride through the parade in a vintage car.

"It's so nice that it's such a lovely day."

The small organising committee of Mrs Johnson, Raewyn Sergeant and Karen Olsen-Mills had worked tirelessly over the last year to make the day a success, she said.

"I feel very proud that we've done this for the school."

As part of the town celebrations there was also five vintage rail car shuttle trips operating all day between Takapau, Waipukurau and Otane onboard the Pahiatua Railcar Society's vintage 1938 RM31 rail car, which regularly travelled the Hawke's Bay line from 1938 till 1970.

Tomorrow George and Beth Winlove will open their home to host The Garden Tea Party at Glenora Homestead, with proceeds from raffles going to the CHB Cancer Society.