Jazz street party in downtown Tauranga
A vintage car parade, street carnival, sunset cruises and plenty of jazz will fill central Tauranga this weekend.
The carnival atmosphere will envelope more streets than ever before, with the recently upgraded Wharf Street becoming a new and special staged area at this year’s national jazz festival.
The festive sparkling street, festooned with Chinese lanterns, will be a fine place to stroll around listening to jazz, swing, blues and funk while tasting tantalising dishes from many of the downtown bars and restaurants.
The two-day carnival begins at 11am on Saturday, April 3, with a vintage car parade starting at Cliff Road, continuing on down Willow Street, Spring Street and Durham Street and on to the waterfront car park. Members of the public are encouraged to dress up and join the band as it makes it way downtown. An additional delight sees the vintage cars on display until 1pm.
Bands will be playing on stages in downtown Tauranga over the two-day jazz carnival. Photo: Daniel Hines.
From 12–6pm, the Strand, Wharf Street and Red Square will come alive with music. A family fun zone will run from 11am–6pm, with entertainment rides for children at Masonic Park.
Joining the festival on Sunday will be The Little Big Markets, with arts, crafts, food and gift stalls along the waterfront car park from 10am–2pm.
The stages along the streets will come alive with jazz again on Sunday from 12–6pm, with the family fun zone again open to children at Masonic Park.
Leaving the waterfront in the late afternoon on Easter Saturday and Sunday will be the historic solid kauri Kewpie, taking passengers back to yesteryear on a scenic jazz sunset cruise across Tauranga harbour.
The crew of the Kewpie will welcome aboard about 50 passengers on each of the Easter cruises for the unique, unforgettable sunset experience, where you can also enjoy a selection of drinks and snacks while being entertained by on-board jazz.
The Kewpie will be taking passengers on a scenic jazz sunset cruise across Tauranga harbour. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford.
With music playing, the Kewpie will head down the harbour, going under the harbour bridge and past the marina and shipping channels, giving passengers the opportunity to take in the sights of the port. Gliding along to Pilot Bay, the classic cruise boat will sail past the statue at the harbour entrance and across to Matakana Island, before returning back to The Strand.
Admission to the carnival will be by gold coin entry. For children aged 14 and under, admission is free.
The Jazz Sunset Cruise will depart The Strand at 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, April 3 and 4. Licensed drinks and snacks are an additional charge. Bookings can be made at Baycourt, or via: www.ticketek.co.nz