Excitement is building and planning is well underway for celebrations to mark Kawerau’s 60th birthday at the end of this month.
Birthday celebrations are being held throughout the weekend of 29 and 30 March 2014. Events include a birthday dinner and show at the Kawerau Cosmopolitan Club, an open mike session to hear local stories from others who lived, worked or grew up in Kawerau, a combined church service, a welcome powhiri and a farewell barbeque.
There will also be a Community Cultural Day in Prideaux Park featuring music, dance and kapa haka, static displays, food stalls, top club demonstrations and generation games.
Tickets for the dinner and show are selling fast with the local band, Dusted Off, confirmed to perform on the night. Tickets are $30 and can be booked through the Cosmopolitan Club.
A retailer reunion is also being organised by Kawerau’s first supermarket owner, Ron Wells to reunite generations of shop owners from the town.
The Committee pulling together the various events have been working hard to mark the date with as many activities as possible to allow plenty of avenues for people to acknowledge the milestone.
“It is not every day that a town turns 60 so it is unique and great fun to celebrate. There is a real buzz going about the event and we are hearing about people coming back to Kawerau from all over the country and even some from overseas for the birthday.
“It will be great to listen to locals and ex-locals remember what a great town this was to grow up in and what a unique community we still have. It is fantastic to hear so many people saying that, even though they have travelled far and wide, this is where they still call home,” Kawerau District Council Strategic Planner, Sandra van Egmond said.
Coinciding with the 60th celebrations is the national launch of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful campaign. A series of five walls will be transformed withcolourful paintings telling the stories of early Kawerau. Images will depict Fenton’s Mill, the Shanty Town, the Hammerhead Crane, the Milk Cart and the Finnish Sauna. Sponsorship covering the costs of paint for this project has been generously supplied by Resene.
Find out more on Facebook (‘Kawerau 60th birthday celebrations’), Kawerau District Council or contact Sandra van Egmond on (07) 306 9009 or Sandra.vanEgmond@kaweraudc.govt.nz.