Local families can spend time together remembering those who sacrificed their lives while crafting something special this Anzac Day.

The team from Rotorua Museum will be at The Arts Village from 10am to 2pm on Anzac Day with a free craft activity.

Families can learn to make a harakeke (flax) cross to contribute to the Delores Cross Project, an initiative paying tribute to the 30,000 New Zealand military personnel buried on foreign soil.

Tori Williams, Rotorua Museum events and engagement co-ordinator, says staff wanted to do something special as it is the last year of the World War I centennial commemorations.

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They heard about the project and thought it would be an easy activity for all ages to enjoy.

"Rotorua Museum have had craft activities available each year on Anzac Day. However, this is the first time we will be making Delores Crosses.

"I think it will be a great activity for kids to do with their families because it will allow parents to explain about the project and commemorate all the lives lost during war time."

Tori Williams, Rotorua Museum events and engagement co-ordinator, is running a harakeke (flax) cross craft session on Anzac Day.
Tori Williams, Rotorua Museum events and engagement co-ordinator, is running a harakeke (flax) cross craft session on Anzac Day.

Also open from 10am to 2pm, will be The Art of Remembering - Te Pu o Mahara exhibition.

It showcases the winning and finalist entries by Rotorua art students tasked with creating visual art based on a Rotorua person who served in WWI.

The exhibition of 23 works will be on display at The Arts Village from April 21 to May 26.

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Tori says it is hosted by Rotorua Museum and highlights the exceptional talent of local art students.

She says the students interpreted an aspect of their story through one of seven visual art mediums – painting, print making, sculpture, moving image, photography, digital or mixed media.

"It is important to commemorate Anzac Day and it gives families the chance to share stories or memories with the younger members."

It is a great opportunity to see how youth express feelings about the Great War and it is amazing to see the artistic talent developing in Rotorua.

Consecration of the Rotorua District Field of Remembrance on Wednesday marked the start of Anzac commemorations in the district.

The field of crosses at the Cenotaph in Government Gardens mark the 103rd anniversary of the Gallipoli landings by Anzac troops on April 25 1915. They will remain in place until Sunday April 29.

Anzac Day marks New Zealand's first major engagement of WWI at Gallipoli, Turkey.

Locals and visitors are invited to attend several other free Anzac commemorations in Rotorua to reflect and remember all the men and women who served their country.

On Anzac Day the Te Arawa Maori Returned Services League will host a dawn service at Ohinemutu from 5.45am, which includes a short parade past the Muruika Soldiers' Cemetery, near St Faith's Church.

Following the dawn service, the Anzac Day Parade will depart from Memorial Drive at 9am, and make its way to the Southern Trust Sportsdrome where Rotorua's civic memorial service will begin at 9.30am.