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Big Parade To Welcome Americas Cup Sailors

Auckland City Council - City Scene

A Queen Street parade will officially welcome the 11 challengers for the America's Cup 2000 regatta to Auckland this Friday, October 15, starting at 5pm from the intersection of Mayoral Drive.

Organised by America's Cup 2000, Louis Vuitton and Auckland City the welcome parade will be followed by the official opening ceremony at Waitemata Plaza, New Zealand Cup Village at 5.45pm.

"After five years of anticipation New Zealand is ready to host the America's Cup," says Sir Peter Blake. "It is time to give an enthusiastic welcome to all our overseas visitors and to recognise what has been achieved in and around the New Zealand Cup Village."

Team New Zealand will join the challengers in the colourful welcome parade, with the organisers providing spectators with a selection of 70,000 paper flags. These will represent each of the nations competing in the challenger series, the Louis Vuitton Cup, which starts on 18 October and there is also a plentiful supply of New Zealand flags.

Leading the parade will be the 150 year old America's Cup, while further back in the parade will be the Louis Vuitton Cup. Thirteen marching bands including the New Zealand Army band from Christchurch will accompany the various crews, entertainment groups, marching teams and cheerleaders, with more than 1000 people participating. To coincide with the parade a 25 metre high replica of the America's Cup will adorn the Sky Tower.

The parade route is: Queen Street from the intersection of Mayoral Drive, left into Customs Street finishing at the Albert Street intersection.

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