Whanganui's Downer New Zealand Masters Games is less than a week away from lift-off with the whole community invited to join in the opening ceremony and celebrations.
Leighton Toy, chairman of the Whanganui New Zealand Masters Games Trust, said the official opening on Friday would kick off a stunning 10-day event, celebrating 30 years of the Masters Games which started in Whanganui in 1989.
"We want to open up the Games Village to the whole community on February 1, and to have Whanganui people of all ages join us for a free, family-friendly event."
Mr Toy said the Games were treasured by the Whanganui community.
"I'd like to invite everyone to take part in some way, whether it's providing a friendly Whanganui welcome to our visitors, joining us for events, or signing up as a participant in one of the 50 sports on offer.
"Every two years we have this tremendous opportunity to welcome thousands of participants and supporters to Whanganui.
"They come to compete, enjoy great camaraderie and socialise in our wonderful little city and the economic benefits run to around $3 million."
The opening ceremony on Friday starts at 6.15pm with guests gathering at Majestic Square for a formal welcome into the Games Village, led by kaumatua John Maihi.
The Wanganui Community Choir and Wanganui Male Choir will perform, followed by a parade of sports partners and the receiving of the flame from Dunedin, which hosted the 2018 Games.
Then actor, singer and real estate agent Shane Cortese and the 8 Track Band will round out the entertainment from 8pm.
"The atmosphere should be great out on the War Memorial Centre forecourt, with the Nation Bar on site and fantastic food and entertainment on offer on opening night and throughout the entire Games," Toy said.
■To sign up for the 2019 Downer New Zealand Masters Games, visit the
Games website https://www.nzmg.com/enter-now/
Games Village Entertainment Programme
Friday February 1: 6.15pm Pōwhiri
and Opening Ceremony; 8pm Shane
Cortese and the 8 Track Band.
Saturday February 2: 7pm Re-set;
Sunday February 3: 8pm Three
Monday February 4: 7.30pm In
Business; 8.30pm CoverStory.
Tuesday February 5: 7pm
Multimedia Quiz Night.
Wednesday February 6: 6pm
Under Cover; 8pm Mojo.
Thursday February 7: 6pm Under
Cover; 8pm Green Floor.
Friday February 8: 7pm Whiskey
Mama; 8pm Kaos.
Saturday February 9: 7.30pm
Damn Raucous Brass; 8pm The
Sunday February 10: 6pm Closing