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A weekly round-up of news snippets, events and oddities from the Bay of Islands and around the Mid North

It's party time!

It's the best night of the year in Kerikeri (we think so anyway) and it's back again after the half marathon this Saturday.

The Kerikeri Street Party was first held in 2007 and now regularly attracts 4000 people for an evening of socialising, sampling good food and wine, and dancing in the street. That's not a bad crowd when you consider the town's total population is about 6000.

As in previous years Kerikeri Rd will be closed to traffic between Fairway Drive and Homestead Rd from 3pm with the party due to kick off at 5pm.

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Organising committee member Rob Cottrell said the party would be "bigger and better than ever" with 27 food stalls and 13 wineries taking part. A Northland craft beer would be available for the first time, made by Kainui Brewing Company just north of Kerikeri.

The party will be split into three music zones with Rotorua band Strangely Arousing - one of the top acts at last month's It Festival in Paihia - playing at Party Point at the east end of the street. Jules Trio will perform jazz in Cool Corner at the west end while Whangarei covers band Legacy will rock up a storm at Party Central opposite the clock tower.

DDF Dance Studioz and kids' performers will round out the entertainment.

The party will wind down at 9pm but live music will continue at Rocksalt. Entry to the street party is free.

The event was started by a group of B&B owners who wanted to entice own-of-towners in the half marathon to stay an extra night in town, instead of heading home straight after the Saturday afternoon prizegiving.


Big shave this Friday

Don't forget the Bald Angels big shave this Friday, when the Northland kids' charity hopes to raise $100,000 and set a world record by shaving 400 heads in an hour.

Because the record bid has to be verified, if you want to take part you can't just rock up when the doors at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri open at 6pm. You have to register at www.baldangels.org.nz or fill in a form available at Cafe Cinema on Hobson Ave, Kerikeri; DD Gold on Commerce St, Kaitaia; Creative Glass on Broadway, Kaikohe; or Countdown on Puketona Rd, Paihia.

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You can register on the day at the Turner Centre but only from 2pm to 5.30pm at the latest.

The last big shave raised $45,000 and saw 62 people go bald for charity. This year's proceeds will go to a variety of projects benefiting Northland kids in need.


Eric and Kelvin go bald

Among the big names taking part in the big shave are Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis and former Rugby Sevens captain Eric Rush, now the owner of Kaikohe New World.

Mr Davis said he volunteered because the cause was worth supporting.

Former Rugby Sevens star Eric Rush takes the shears to Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis' head. Both men will take part in Friday's Bald Angels fundraiser.
Former Rugby Sevens star Eric Rush takes the shears to Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis' head. Both men will take part in Friday's Bald Angels fundraiser.

"What's a couple of days of embarrassment? If you can help people out, let's do it. Poverty is a huge issue. We have to do something about it," he said.

Mr Rush, who coaches an under-16 rugby team, said he suggested at the club's prizegiving that players join him shaving their heads.

"They were appalled. They are all too vain," he said.

Despite his players' reluctance, Mr Rush expects he will persuade 10 to take part.

Organiser Therese Wickbom also invited Northland MP Winston Peters, who is busy that evening, and Lorde, who has yet to respond.


Colouring for grown-ups

Popular graphic artist Shane Hansen is kicking off the summer season at Kings Creative, Kawakawa, with a talk and the launch of his colouring book Native Aotearoa.

The event, at 11.30am on Saturday, November 21, doubles as the opening preview of He Kete Aronui, an exhibition by more than 40 Te Tai Tokerau artists including Shane Hansen, Theresa Reihana, Gabrielle Belz and Cliff Whiting.

Mr Hansen is of Ngati Hine, Tainui and Ngati Mahunga descent. Kings Creative is in Kawakawa's historic picture theatre.


Russell School's 175th

Russell School is celebrating 175 years of education in Russell this weekend with a reunion of staff and students.

Festivities start on Friday evening with registration and kai and korero, followed by decade photos on Saturday morning and wharf swimming sports in the afternoon - a uniquely Russell event for anyone willing to brave the chilly spring water.

The day will wrap up with a hangi and social at the town hall with live music by ex-pupils Tony Taylor and Deon Baker.

For more information check out the Russell School Reunion Facebook page, email russellschoolreunion@gmail.com, or call in to the school office.

Russell has had a school since 1839. The current site dates back to 1892.


Frankly speaking

Former Bay of Islands College principal Frank Leadley will release his autobiography, called Frank Speaking, at the Bay of Islands Yacht Club in Waitangi next Wednesday.

 Bay of Islands identity Frank Leadley is about to launch his autobiography. PHOTO / NZ Herald
Bay of Islands identity Frank Leadley is about to launch his autobiography. PHOTO / NZ Herald

As well as heading the college for 22 years and being the founding president of the Secondary School Principals of New Zealand, the indefatigable Mr Leadley still works hard for community causes such as youth enterprise projects, Rotary, church and the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust.

Far North Mayor John Carter said Mr Leadley's energy and leadership had changed lives in his community and overseas.

The book launch starts at 5.30pm on November 25. He will also sign copies at Paihia Bookshop from 11am-2pm on November 27.


Opua community day

Bay of Islands Marina in Opua is hosting a trade and community day from 10am-4pm this Saturday, November 21.

Free attractions will include a boaties' trade show, petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy castle and a fishing competition. Pizza, sausage sizzle and cake will be available at the cruising club deck, while Rotary will hold a car boot sale.


Rare visitor explained

Marine expert Jochen Zaeschmar will give a talk in Paihia on Thursday evening, November 19, about a rare and enigmatic visitor to the Bay of Islands, the false killer whale or pseudorca.

Despite its name the pseudorca is no killer whale but a rare type of dolphin which Mr Zaeschmar has been studying for the past 15 years.

The talk, which is hosted by Fish Forever and Living Waters, will take place at the Scenic Hotel on the corner of Seaview and MacMurray Rd from 7pm. Entry by koha.


A handbag?

A handbag and a 97-year-old named Gloria are the stars of a play at the Turner Centre at 7pm this Saturday, November 21.

The story begins when Gloria, who hasn't long to live, buys a designer handbag on a whim. That sets off a series of unusual events transforming her remaining days and allowing her to send a message to the future.

The one-woman play is performed by Helen Moulder and directed by Sue Rider. Call (09) 407 0260 to book or visit www.turnercentre.co.nz.


Red Cross get-together

The New Zealand Red Cross is continuing its centenary celebrations with a "meet and mingle" in the Turner Centre's Theatre Bar from 5-8pm this Friday, November 20.

Admission is free but RSVP to Denise Pitts on (09) 407 4606 or keriwin.pitts@xtra.co.nz. Bald Angels big shave participants are welcome to drop in.


Swim club fun day

Bay of Islands Swimming Club is holding a fun day at Te Papawai Community Pool in Kawakawa, this Sunday, November 22, from 10am to 1pm.

There will be relay races, games, a barbecue and a chance to learn about the club's swim groups. Swimmers from Bay of Islands Special Olympics will also be taking part.


Blood needed

The NZ Blood Service will be collecting blood donations in Kerikeri on November 23-24, Kaitaia on November 25-26 and Kaikohe on November 27. Call 0800 448 325 or go to www.nzblood.co.nz to book in.


Love Opua AGM

Community improvement group Love Opua is holding its AGM at 5pm this Sunday, November 22, in Opua Hall. The meeting will be followed by a pot luck dinner and entertainment. BYO plate, cutlery and cup.


Do you have news or an upcoming event you'd like to see in this column? Send it to us, including your full contact details, to baynews@northernadvocate.co.nz.