AvON Blog

Official blog of the Avon-Otakaro Network

New Mayor to open this year’s Spring River Festival

Newly elected Mayor Lianne Dalziel will officially open the Spring River Festival at Kerr’s Reach on November 2 as one of her first ceremonial duties since taking office.

This is the second year of the festival celebrating the importance of the river in the life of the city.

“The inaugural festival last year was very successful, this year will be simply awesome!”  says one of the organisers, Evan Smith Co-Chair of Avon-Otakaro Network (AvON). AvON is the organisation hoping to turn the Avon River red zone into a city-to-sea recreational eco-park.

The festival will follow the passage downstream of a specially carved festival waka huia or feather chest from the city early in the morning, to finish in New Brighton in the afternoon.

The initial journey will be by foot with the River of Life group walking from O-Tautahi/Cambridge Green before arriving by waka at Kerrs Reach for the mayoral opening at 9:30am.

A multi-code grand regatta will then take place including dragon boats, waka, rowing boats and kayaks, and end with a flotilla carrying the waka huia downstream to Owles Terrace at midday.  From there it will make its way to the New Brighton carnival market accompanied by the Natural Magic Ukulele Pirates.

A family concert attended by the Mayor will then take place on the water front under the colourful spectacle of a kitefest on the beach.

“It will be a very special day that showcases the potential of the east to become the playground of the city,” says Smith. 

Full Programme for the Spring River Festival:

7:30am  Blessing of the waka huia then River Walk – Cambridge Green to Gayhurst Bridge

9:15am  Waka Journey to Kerrs Reach

9:30am  Official Opening and welcoming of the waka huia by the Mayor

9:45am  Flat Water Inter-Code Regatta at Kerrs Reach

10am - 2pm  Carnival Market at New Brighton

From 11am  Kite Fest and Skate Fest on the beach and Sand Painting

11:45am  Flotilla assembles and moves down to Owles Terrace 

12:30pm  Journey from Owles Terrace through market to waterfront stage

1pm – 6pm  Family Music Concert, New Brighton waterfront (free). With: Natural Magic Ukulele Pirates, 1 Drop Nation and Stone Cold Chillers plus more.

2pm Stand Up Paddle Board Race around the pier

8:30pm  Concert at the Pierside (no cover charge)

Sponsored by Canterbury Community Trust, Foodstuffs Community Trust and Flip Design.

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