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Parade to get city fired up for Sevens party

31 January 2006

Parade to get city fired up for Sevens party

The AXA New Zealand International Rugby Sevens, which will bring thousands to the Capital this long weekend, is kicking off on Thursday with a street parade through the central city.

Starting from Parliament at 12.45pm, moving along Lambton Quay and Willis Street and ending at Civic Square with a civic reception, all 16 teams will travel on floats through the streets. Some of the teams will be accompanied by cultural entertainers such as Cook Island drummers, Kapa Haka and Tongan dancers from Whitireia Performing Arts School. Other teams will be accompanied by light-hearted performances by actors and musical groups.

The street parade is a chance for the public to see the athletes up close before the frenzy of the competition starts and Wellington City Council Events Co-ordinator Jessica Garland says spectators should secure their vantage spot early.

“The street parade will bring the sights, sounds and the craziness of the stadium atmosphere to the streets of Wellington. There’ll be sizzling music, lots of costumes and some mystery guests. We’re encouraging the public to come to Civic Square where they will have a chance to get balls and posters signed by the athletes after the speeches.”

Mayor Kerry Prendergast is looking forward to the big weekend. “Everyone loves the Sevens weekend - it’s a heady mix of football, fans, fashion and fantasy and the excitement filters right across the city. Sevens attracts huge crowds both from inside and outside Wellington. I hope we get to host this fantastic event for many years to come.”

To allow the parade to take place there will be a rolling road closure undertaken by Police parade escorts. Motorists and buses along Willis Street and Lambton Quay should expect some delays while the parade is on.


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