An event founded three years ago to give Far North kids a chance to enjoy all the hands-on creativity of an arts festival — but without having to travel to a big city or fork out lots of money — returns to Kaeo this Saturday.
Ngā Purapura will feature workshops, bands, waiata, kai, dance, a market, culture, cookery, dress-up, stories and art, all aimed at children and young people and all free of charge.
A new attraction this year will be a children's open-air theatre show produced especially for Ngā Purapura by Company of Giants.
Kids can get into the spirit of the show, called The Animals Came in Two by Two, by arriving early to make their own animal tails and masks to wear during the performance.
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The workshop tent will be open from 10am to noon.
Meanwhile, Ruth Woodbury from Auckland Museum will run a whānau session in which families work together to create their own taonga, and a line-up of original music will culminate in a performance by Whangarei band Farandicus.
Organiser Hannah Hunter said the festival came about because a group of Kaeo playcentre mums didn't want local kids to miss out on arts events because of cost or distance from main centres.
"It's a wonderful community collaboration. So many people help in so many ways, whether pitching in with the planning and preparations, or sharing skills with our young people on the day itself. It's a real team effort and a celebration of the talent in Whangaroa," she said.
The environmentally friendly festival, which starts with a pōwhiri at 9.30am and runs until 3.30pm, is also junk food free and waste free. It takes place on the grassy area around the playground and church on Kaeo's main street.
Ngā Purapura translates as "the seeds".