The Mayoral Golden Years Concert was not only about enjoying the entertainment. It was also an opportunity for Pare Aratema and Winnie Morrison to catch up with old friends.

The Rotorua women were among hundreds of the local retired community who enjoyed an afternoon at the Energy Events Centre on Saturday.

This year's Mayoral Golden Years Concert was a first for Pare who heard about the event through her kaumātua group.

She said it was great to be offered free tickets and was looking forward to watching Harcourts Dancing with the Stars dance couple Evelyn Falconer and Alex Wilson.

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However, it was the music Winnie was most looking forward to.

"I'm here for the music side of things, I really like singing and music," she said.

The event opened with an afternoon tea followed by an hour and a half of performances by talented locals.

Hundreds of Rotorua's retired community enjoyed the concert on Saturday. Photo / Ben Fraser
Hundreds of Rotorua's retired community enjoyed the concert on Saturday. Photo / Ben Fraser

It was the first year the event had been held at the Energy Events Centre and the first time the concert had been curated by the Rotorua Lakes Performing Arts Company.

Energy Events Centre manager Joelene Elliott said the centre was "thrilled" to be able to host the event.

She said the event was a way to show appreciation towards the retired community and it was great to see so many people taking part.

Lakes Performing Arts Company managing director Rebecca Brake said a lot of thought went into the process of making sure there was wide variety in the concert.

Rhayvon Mihaere from the Raukura kapa haka group performs. Photo / Ben Fraser
Rhayvon Mihaere from the Raukura kapa haka group performs. Photo / Ben Fraser

"All areas of the arts have been covered, and they really are the best of the best," she said.

Some of the performances included Raukura Kapa Haka, violinist Rosa Hook, Anne Samson School of Ballet, singer Elisha Hulton and a Filipino Solo Dance.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick earlier said the afternoon celebrated those in the "golden years" who have done, and continue to do, so much for the community.