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Record Crowd At Waitangi Festival

Record Crowd At Waitangi Festival

Record crowds have turned out today for annual Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements in Porirua.

And more are already turning up for the evening concert and fireworks spectacular this evening.

The Festival is held every year on Waitangi Day to celebrate ethnic diversity, made possible by the Treaty of Waitangi.

Festival Coordinator Margaret Armour says crowd figures are still being assessed, but the numbers far exceed last year’s record of 25 thousand.

“We’ve had a lot more publicity for the Festival this year, particularly on tourist information internet sites. One visitor today told us she’d come along after hearing an announcement about the Festival by an Air New Zealand pilot to his passengers coming into Wellington this week. We think it’s great that Air NZ is supporting our local Waitangi Day events by encouraging people to come along,” Ms Armour says.

A delegation of Japanese businessmen and councillors who attended the official opening ceremony at the Festival this morning liked what they saw so much they returned to the Festival this afternoon.

Ms Armour says big crowds have been consistent throughout the day, and are building up now for the evening concert programme, which gets underway at 7pm. The Festival finishes with a Fireworks spectacular at 9.45pm.

She says people began staking out their picnic spots for the concert from around 4 o’clock this afternoon.

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