Pipe band music will soon resonate around Rotorua as bands descend on the city for a championship event.

Rotorua is hosting the Central North Island Pipe Band Championships for 2020 on Saturday, February 29.

The event starts at 10am with a street march, beginning at Memorial Drive alongside QE Hospital, left into Whakaue St, right into Hinemaru St finishing before Pukaki St.

At 12pm is the Set and Medley section, where people can bring a blanket to the competition circle at Medical Officer's Reserve, Pukuatua St and the enjoy music of North Island bands.

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At 2.55pm is the mace flourishing section, Displays and Massed Bands.

There will be a sausage sizzle, home baking and soft drink available too.

City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band drummer and vice president Willy Clark says bands will be coming from all over central North Island and Auckland, with about 10 bands altogether.

He says the contest is one of the events in the lead up to the Nationals in Invercargill on March 13-14.

The City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band in the street march in 2018. Photo / File
The City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band in the street march in 2018. Photo / File

Willy encourages people to come along because it will be an enjoyable day.

He is looking forward to the Street March because a marching band sounds great on the road.

"It's a better sound and a great atmosphere."

The street march is funded by Creative Communities - "without them we wouldn't be able to do it".

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"I've been doing pipe band for a long time. I enjoy when it all starts to come together and starts to sound really good, and everyone is on their game."

He says City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band has about 16 members who are 18 or under, and it is rewarding to teach them and see them become great players.

"The band is also very family orientated. It's a great atmosphere and vibe."

The City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band recently won first place overall in Grade 4 at Auckland Centre Contest, first equal at the Paeroa Highland Games and Tattoo, first place in Grade 4 at Turakina Highland Games and first place in Grade 4 at Highland Square Day in Palmerston North.

"It's just progressing and improving each time, so we are hopefully on the way to have a successful competition in Invercargill."

Some inner-city Rotorua streets will be closed briefly on the day during the championships.

From 10am to midday, Memorial Drive will be down to one lane from the roundabout at the Lakefront into Whakaue St. Whakaue St and Hinemaru St will be closed from the corner of Fenton St and Memorial Drive to stop before the Pukaki St corner (lakeside lane only).
There will be no parking on those stretches from 5am.

The details
- What: Central North Island Pipe Band Championships
- When: Saturday, February 29, 10am to
- Where: Medical Officers' Reserve, Pukuatua St, opposite Rotorua Boys' High School
- Free entry