The invitation is out: Auckland is celebrating its 171st birthday and Mayor Len Brown says there are a “massive” range of events planned for the holiday weekend of 28 to 31 January.
“The Auckland Anniversary Weekend celebrations will offer something for everyone and will bring Auckland together to celebrate as one region for the first time.”
This year, Auckland Anniversary Weekend’s major events include the Auckland International Busker’s Festival, the Auckland Seafood Festival, Oceanbridge Anniversary Day Regatta, the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Aotea Square, the Royal New Zealand Navy ship open days, boat tours of the Ports of Auckland facilities and activities at the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum.
Festivities kick off on Friday night with the opening of the Auckland International Buskers Festival. Busking performances continue throughout the weekend with local and international acrobats, comedians and more.
The fifth annual Auckland Seafood Festival runs daily from noon on Saturday until 7pm on Monday at Te Wero Island at the Viaduct. The festival offers a huge range of local seafood delicacies and a wide selection of local and international wines, premium beer and cider brands. Tickets cost $15.
A fireworks display will be visible from many vantage points around the harbour area on Sunday evening. Fireworks have been a popular feature of Auckland Anniversary Weekend for many years, with major displays happening from 2006 onward.
The maritime highlight will be the Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta on the Monday, supported by. Now in its 171st, it is one of the biggest single-day regattas in the world and pre-dates the America’s Cup by 12 years. This year’s regatta will include waka ama races, dragon boat demonstrations and a wide range of events for all manner of marine craft including power boats, yachts of all sizes and types and even tug boats.
“There’s a strong maritime theme to the main weekend’s events, which cluster along Auckland’s waterfront and in the central business district. I think this is appropriate because this region was founded on arrivals by sea. Ever since, Aucklanders have been closely involved with the sea, which provides many of us with recreation and livelihoods,” says Mr Brown.
Other popular maritime-themed activities during the long weekend include the Royal New Zealand Navy ship open days at Princes Wharf on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 January, Ports of Auckland tours and Maritime Museum family entertainment, exhibitions and activities.
On Monday, the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival will draw “indie” music fans to Aotea Square. The festival includes local and overseas acts including Ladyhawke, Yeasayer and Deerhunter. The concert begins at noon and wraps up at 11pm.
A full programme of events happening in the Viaduct, in the central city and on the Waitemata Harbour along with community events happening in many parts of the region during Auckland Anniversary Weekend is at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/events
Auckland Anniversary Weekend is provided by Auckland Council with support from The Radio Network, The Coffee Guy and Tip Top Ice Cream.