On Saturday morning I took my three children over to Tauranga to enjoy the family festivities put on by the Arts Festival. We kicked off at 10am with the Kahurangi Children's Performers in the Crystal Palace. Two talented musicians and performers engaged beautifully with the children and gave them plenty to giggle about and connect with.
The Little Big Markets had moved from their usual summery spot outside Zespri on Maunganui Road over the bridge and were installed the length of the Strand. A great showcase of the many entrepreneurial talents in the Bay as well as a good centre piece just outside the Crystal Palace where musicians were also treating those on the grass to some welcome sounds.
As people milled around along the pedestrianised Strand, all sorts of performances stopped us in our tracks and held us captivated. A lone conductor stood on a chair conducting in silence. Weaving threw the crowd and bringing a chair with them, musicians joined him to play Ravel's Bolero, each musician appearing after the last until the blaring finale.
The Rock n Roll unicycle had us all in stitches and gave himself a rigorous workout in the sunshine, culminating in playing Queen on an electric guitar atop a unicycle.
Our absolute favourite of the day was The Tauranga Samba, a collective of drummers who gave the Strand a distinctly carnival feel. My children loved it and danced themselves silly.
We were starving after all that fun so trooped off to La Mexica for a very family friendly lunch of nachos for the children and delicious fresh fish tacos for me. The service was fantastic, no mean feat considering how many hungry families had descended on them.
All in all, a day to exceptionally proud of our city. I applaud the organisers for really providing a carefully thought out, fun spectacle in Tauranga. Thank you, Tauranga Arts Festival.
Jenny Rudd - guest blogger