Whanganui Heritage Month will return this year to celebrate the district's unique history and architecture.

Originally scheduled for August, the celebration will now be held in October due to the impact of Covid-19.

"It will be a great way to celebrate spring," co-ordinator Kelly Scarrow said.

"Gardens will be blooming and the theme is flowers and flora which featured so strongly in historic Māori and European architectural design."

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The Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust held the inaugural month-long celebration last August with more than 40 events.

The events included centenary celebrations of the Sarjeant Gallery and Durie Hill Elevator.

The trust had further reason to celebrate in January when it was announced that Whanganui had been accepted into the League of Historical Cities.

The international affiliation of cities was developed to recognise the values that historical urban areas bring to local and international communities and Whanganui is the first and only New Zealand city to become a member.

Whanganui has one of New Zealand's highest concentrations of European heritage buildings dominating the city centre.

Still largely intact, they represent a significant number of building styles dating from 1860 and 1960.

Significant Māori sites include St Paul's Memorial Church at Putiki, recently awarded New Zealand Heritage Category 1 status, and the architecturally unique marae along the Whanganui River Rd to the settlement of Jerusalem.

St Paul's status will be celebrated this year along with the former Fire Watchtower on York Hill in Cooks Gardens, which also received a Category 1 status rating from Heritage New Zealand in January.

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St Paul's Church at Putiki will be celebrated during Whanganui Heritage Month. Photo / Lewis Gardner
St Paul's Church at Putiki will be celebrated during Whanganui Heritage Month. Photo / Lewis Gardner

Scarrow said marketing of the event would encourage visitors from around New Zealand to visit and enjoy Whanganui's parks and gardens, heritage home tours, seminars, museum, galleries and tours around the historic town centre.

"There will be a high tea, beer tasting during the Craft Beer Festival over Labour Weekend, as well as great food and coffee are also on offer during the month."

Event registrations from groups and individuals wishing to host events close on July 12.

"Although the theme is botanical, all heritage-themed events are welcome to register," Scarrow said.

"People hosted some fantastic events last year and we hope to see them back and welcome some exciting new events to the programme."

To find out more visit the Whanganui Heritage Month Facebook page or call 027 304 2126.

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