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Time to celebrate the city's heritage

12 September 2006

Time to celebrate the city's heritage

The curtain will rise on Auckland Heritage Festival celebrations this Saturday, with the official public open day taking place in the Viaduct.

The free opening event, from 1pm to 4pm, will feature old time music, strolling performers and entertainment from yesteryear.

The festival, which runs from 16 to 24 September, is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Auckland's founding on 18 September 1840.

The nine-days will be over-flowing with a programme of more than 100 events and many are free to the public.

The events cover Auckland's unique natural, social and built heritage and include heritage walks and guided tours of key historic buildings such as Britomart precinct and the Civic Theatre. There will also be vintage fashion displays, rugby games, heritage market days and more.

To mark the first Sunday of the festival, peals of bells will be heard at 3pm on 17 September in a number of neighbourhoods throughout the city and on Tuesday, 19 and Wednesday, 20 September from noon to 1pm, Aotea Square will be alive with a colourful showcase of town criers from around New Zealand.

Historic buildings in the heart of the city will be lit-up throughout the week and there will also be tours to significant and intriguing historic sites on Motuihe, Waiheke and Rangitoto islands.

Ponsonby is also playing a significant part in the festival with a programme showcasing the heritage treasures and forgotten characters of this iconic suburb.

Chair of Auckland City's Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee, Councillor Christine Caughey, says the scale of this year's event is a testament to the commitment and passion that programme contributors have demonstrated in celebrating and embracing the city's rich and diverse past.

"The Auckland Heritage Festival ensures that the stories of our local areas are shared with the wider public. I encourage both young and old to take the opportunity to see Auckland from a new perspective."

The full programme of events is available at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/heritage or can be requested by phoning 379 2020. Bookings are essential for many events.

The Auckland Heritage Festival is produced by Auckland City and is part of the council's long-term campaign to protect heritage areas and buildings. It provides an opportunity for the public to celebrate their city's distinct heritage and brings alive times and places of yesteryear.

It is proudly sponsored by Heritage Auckland and Solid Gold, and supported by NZ Community Trust.


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